IN a little more than a year, Dr. Breck became convinced that the foundations laid by him at Faribault were solid enough to endure, and were in hands that could be depended upon to build wisely thereupon; and the old longing to push once more to the distant frontier became irresistible.
...... As regards a new field for myself, I have done all that is in my power to begin one under Bishop Randall, by writing to him and obtaining his hearty approval. But my Bishop here is utterly opposed to my leaving him. I am aware of all you feel and would state, but already I have had far greater praise in the churches than I deserve, and I have lived long enough to hold such in the estimate humility requires. The Bishop implores me to abide with him, and continue a work begun by me, and thus far incorporated with myself both here and abroad. I have had reasons to lead me to think seriously of a new field, but they may not be of the weight I have attributed to them. My Bishop is at all events sincere in keeping me, and I hope he is right in his estimate of my importance for the further development of this great Missionary centre.
The growth of this work has been truly wonderful. This parish, taken out of the dust seven years ago, with but three communicants, has had within it 250. The baptisms have been 500. It represents nearly 125 families, and has become self-supporting. The Parish School numbers 125 children in Church training. It is graded in three schools and has five teachers,--three all day and two half time. These are paid from the receipts of the school, saving a small sum annually given to it. The boys' boarding-school is full and well taught. The Divinity Hall is in its infancy, with fifteen young men. The girls' boarding-school is expected to be opened next summer. And twenty acres have just been bought for an Orphans' Home. You see from this, what this centre is to become in the course of a few years. You may imagine my attachment to it, and to this loving people which I have brought (under God) into His Fold. Many, many thanks for the further offering of $66 to my brother-in-law, who is a man of finest parts. I suppose he will be ordained at Easter.
The Spring of this year, 1866, was unhappily illuminated by a conflagration--the first trial of that sort in all his Missionary experience.
(April 7th, Faribault.--To his Brother Charles.)
From out of my hurry I drop you these few lines to tell you of my losses by fire. The Mission House in which I have been living for nearly eight years suddenly took fire in the night (1:30 A. M.), and in an hour was consumed. There was an insurance of #1800, which I suppose will be paid. All my library and all my manuscript sermons were burned. In the confusion these were overlooked, and burnt to ashes. However, one page was found, burnt on all four sides, with these Words remaining. "These men were steadfast to their profession of the true GOD in the midst of the burning fiery furnace" May this be the character of us all, when called upon to suffer for CHRIST on earth! On my library was $150 insurance. All my personal effects, saving a few articles, were burned. My insurance will be $600, about one-half the loss. I am now a guest in the Bishop's house. It would be a good time for me to emigrate West, but the Bishop will not give his consent.
On last Sunday my brother-in-law was ordained Deacon. Could you not pledge your parish to $100 for his support for this year, as my assistant? I hope you can do this. You aided him nobly in reaching the Church.
A few additional particulars are gleaned from a letter to Miss Edwards of about the same date:
.....We lost no lives, for which we cannot be sufficiently thankful. The fire originated in our kitchen, how, no one knows. It is my first experience in all my Missionary life of twenty-five years. We lost all our underclothing, save a few articles. Mrs. Breck's loss of dresses, &c., was almost total; and but little of the boy's' clothing was saved. The same was the case with our bedding.....
At Whitsuntide the official announcement was made, that:
The Trustees of the Bishop Seabury Mission have appointed the Rev. J. Lloyd Breck, D.D., Dean of the Mission. He will reside on the College grounds, and have the spiritual care and oversight of all the scholars of our schools. Dr. Breck's acquaintance with Christian schools, and success as a teacher of youth, is the best guarantee to parents that their children will receive proper care. It is not our desire to establish schools to care for vicious and depraved boys, nor will we hazard the well-being of others, by receiving such as pupils; and we request that in all cases parents or guardians who desire admission for boys, will accompany the application by a certificate of their general good character. All applications will be addressed to the Rev. J. Lloyd Breck, D.D., Faribault; care of the Right Rev. H. B. Whipple, Bishop of Minnesota. This arrangement does not change Dr. Break's connection with the parish of the Good Shepherd, and the Missionary Stations. He is still the Pastor, assisted in his parochial work by the Rev. William J. Johnstone, and will be provided with other assistants when it shall become necessary.
(July 10th, Faribault.--To his Brother Charles)
.....Thank you for your sympathy with me in my late losses. They have kept me pretty hard at work since. I have been appointed to additional work, in having been made Dean of the Mission and its schools. As such I am setting things in order, and with regard to the future I am devising liberal things, in which our friends, I hope, will help me. The Romanists are laying broad and deep foundations. I discoursed somewhat to you about these when in the East. Now I am resolved not to give the thing wholly up to them. And I wish you and my friends to resolve in like manner with me.
I have become personally responsible for the purchase of twenty acres of land, adjoining our Divinity school, for the future use of the same, and of the Grammar school and Collegiate Departments. If this land is not bought now, it will be occupied by settlers, whom we could never dispossess, even if we had abundant means. I have bought this land for $2,000, and have paid but $500. I shall ask brethren to help me to the $1,500, and, as your share of it, I ask $50, which I know you will take pleasure in contributing, and possibly in doubling.
I have always made valuable and important selections, and this one is of the very best. It covers the eastern portion of the town plot of Faribault. The railroad is now here, and the town is rapidly growing. There is a land lease taking a portion I secured in St. Paul in 1850, upon which $60,000 are being expended for improvements. It yields an income for the Diocese of $500 annually for ten years, and then is to be revalued. [In 1881 that one piece of property was valued at $65,000.] When you consider that I have been twenty-five years a frontier Missionary, and have never laid up a dollar or secured a foot of land for myself, you will not hesitate to appeal to your dear people to aid us.
(July 28th, Faribault--To Miss Mifflin, of Philadelphia)
.....Yesterday was our Anniversary of the Schools of the Mission. It was celebrated out of doors, and 350 children enjoyed, along with parents, friends and clergy, a picnic dinner. After this the corner-stone of the Shattuck Grammar School was laid. It is to be erected on the bluff with the Divinity Hall, and overlooks the valley of Faribault. Dr. Washburn delivered the address, which was much admired. We are building in faith.
1867. (February 20th, Faribault.--To his Brother Charles)
.....Yours, containing the fifty dollars, came to hand promptly, and I have devoted the same to land. If you could see what strides the Romanists are making in the West, you would not sleep in your beds for fear of the final result over our children's children, if we are not more wide-awake. The various Christian denominations about us are, if anything, more asleep than we are. The Pope and his cohort are at least aiming at the possession of the Valley of the Mississippi. This valley already controls the ballot-box of the United States, and no one better appreciates this vantage ground than the Romanists. The flood of European immigration is giving to Rome the elective power rapidly, from the highest official down to the district school-master or school-ma'am. The Protestant is great in doing things on the surface, and making a great ripple; but as soon as the blast ceases, you would not know that he had been there. I have been twenty-five years a frontier Missionary; and, ten to one, because I would plant deep and lastingly, when it is asked to contribute to such a work, it is refused because they think they see us in this thing like the Romanist. The Romanist has no fear of any religious body saving the Episcopal Church. We have made inroads upon the ranks of the Romanists wherever I have gone, and I remember not the instance in which they have made a convert from us. I do ask for $20,000 to build, timspresent summer, a Hall for boys, where they may be educated and trained in religious ways, and from amongst whom may many be found who will devote themselves to the Sacred Ministry. At this time the depletion in the ranks of the candidates for the Ministry is truly fearful. Are there not earnest hearts in the East, who will as willingly bestow material wealth to establish their Faith on the border among our own people, as do Papists from the interior of Europe, to plant their peculiar institutions, even to monasteries here in the far West?
The time had at length come for this veteran Pioneer to advance yet once again to the more distant frontier.
(March 29th, Faribault.--To his Brother Charles.) The time has at length come for me to resign and make an advance again towards the setting sun.
All that I have put my hand to here has been abundantly blessed, and has become so matured as to admit of my going out. I remain until Trinity Sunday, when five young men are to be ordained. The Bishop and brethren kindly consent to my departure as an off-shoot from Faribault, and I have had permission to choose one out of the five to go with me. I have selected one who entered our Parish School in 1858. Another clergyman will, I trust, join me from this portion of the West, an admirable worker: so that we shall at once be an Associate Mission for our new field. I hope also to take with us some young men to prepare for Holy Orders.
The field I have chosen is the most glorious one in the world--California. There is not a School of the Prophets there, and but two or three Candidates for the Ministry. I purpose coming East in June, to spend the summer in making preparations, and take passage (D. v.) in October for the distant scene of our labors.
This step is in harmony with your advice, some time since given. My wife and the boys will be with me of course. We leave here, breaking many ties of loving hearts; but it must be so on this changeful earth. You will, of course, invite me to your ancient parish, and give me one of those cordial welcomes for which you have been so justly distinguished in times past. You may secure for me as many such welcomes in neighboring parishes as you please. After twenty-six years of unceasing work on the frontier, I ought to give a record, such as will furnish me with an outfit for my new band of brethren, for so glorious a work and one so imperatively called for.
His new venture was formally announced to his friends in the following--
Missionary Paper Circular. To the Friends of the Bishop Seabury Mission.
In agreement with earnest and continuous convictions of duty, I am about to go forth again upon the frontier to lay foundations for CHRIST and His Church. I could not leave my beloved Bishop and this work, without telling you how great the trial has been in bringing my mind to yield to such convictions.
At last I have done so, and at Trinity my resignation is to take effect.
Whilst, however, separating from this blessed work, I must not imperil its high interests, and I beg its friends to continue to it their nursing care, until the Diocese has reached its manhood, and can care for it without foreign aid. Much is yet to be done to make this central work what it should be, as an arm of strength to the Diocese. And in leaving it myself, I should deplore any decrease of interest in it on the part of its former friends, that might weaken it. Bishop Whipple has espoused this Mission as his own work; but the Bishop of a new and Western Diocese has calls upon his watchful eye and encouragement from every portion of the field committed to him; and hence it is impossible for him to shoulder such a load as a Theological Training School and the much other work which gathers about a Church centre. In consequence of this, the Bishop has left the support of the School of the Prophets in my own keeping, and now that I am going away, I desire in the most cordial spirit to commend it to all its former friends, and to ask for it the continuance of their prayers and offerings.
The Trustees have appointed the Rev. E. S. Thomas, who is Professor of Exegesis in Seabury Hall, the correspondent of the Mission for the time being. He will enter upon the duties of this office at Trinity. In the meantime I will acquaint him with our Christian helpers in the Sunday School, and in the parish, and elsewhere. Nothing will bring greater joy to my heart than to know that you have kindly consented to my requests in this particular.
The Bishop and brethren here have generously yielded to my convictions of duty, and will follow me in my frontier Mission, with their prayers and good wishes. They have done more than this. I am permitted to choose one of five candidates who are to be ordained to the Diaconate on Trinity Sunday next, to go with me. So that the Associate Mission which I hope to found on the Pacific Coast will be an offshoot of Faribault. Already this School of the Prophets has sent one of its graduates, the Rev. G. B. Whipple, a Missionary to the Sandwich Islands. And others have gone forth with like Missionary zeal to the waste places of our own land. The Church may then well regard with affection, and cherish with her alms, such a fountain of Evangelical truth as this School of the Prophets.
The friends of this Mission will ever, be assured of my deepest gratitude for their devotedness to myself and this work. With confidence I now commend its holy interests to your prayers, and remain
Your affectionate Missionary for CHRIST,
J. LLOYD BRECK,
Dean of the Bishop Seabury Mission.
This was accompanied by the following expression of consent and "GOD-speed" on the part of Bishop Whipple:
It is with sadness that I give my assent to the change proposed by our Brother. I always dread partings, especially in those who have been associated in work for CHRIST and His Church. If it had been the will of GOD, I should have preferred that he remain with us, to aid in a work which is only begun, and which never needed as now watchfulness and kind assistance. Our Brother's convictions of duty are clear; trusting and loving him as I do, I can only give him "a God-speed and blessing." He will take with him one of our graduates, and we believe that under GOD they will be the means of winning souls to CHRIST, and of extending the kingdom of our LORD and Saviour.
Your friend and brother,
H. B. WHIPPLE,
Bishop of Minnesota.
A Circular to his "Brethren of the Clergy and Laity" soon followed, calling for fresh help for the fresh work:
....... Leaving here as I do in the summer season, and making rapid preparations for departure to the scene of our labors, it will be impossible to present this new work to city congregations in the hot months. And yet for an Associate Mission, which is intended to comprise four Clergymen and five or six students for the Ministry, I am in duty bound to ask for these an outfit, and a cabin, at least, to shelter them at the place of their destination.
It is not presumed that a Mission to the Pacific Coast will long lay claims for support upon the Atlantic States. It is an Empire of itself, and it must soon take charge of its own work-. But some nursing care in the very infancy of laying foundations for a School of the Prophets, and for Associate Missionary work in a field so new, may well be awarded us. It is not, therefore, without reason that I ask my brethren of the Clergy and « Laity to consider what it is we are contemplating for CHRIST, and that they devote an offering to it on that great Feast of the Mission of the HOLY GHOST, which empowered and equipped Apostles and Apostolic men to go forth to found the Church and preach the Gospel in all lands. I say, beloved brethren, to you, who cannot go forth in person, will you not speed the LORD'S own work, by going forth with us in faith, with offerings, to a land which has been so wonderfully blessed of GOD in earthly endowments, but which must remain a spiritual waste until spiritually endowed'?
I ask, therefore, that my time and that of my Associates may not be consumed by any long tarrying in the East, for lack of pecuniary ability to go forth upon our Mission; and in order to do this, that the cause we have in hand, which is none other than a Mission of the HOLY GHOST, be made a specialty for its inauguration on Whitsun Day--the day which commemorates the descent of GOD the HOLY GHOST upon His Church, and which even now alone gives efficacy to every Christian enterprise.
Shut up, as I have been, in this Western wilderness for more than a quarter of a century, and personally unknown to thousands of devoted hearts in the Eastern States, there is no need for an apology, I trust, if self should seem to predominate in what I have now to add. And the Bishop who will be in charge of the new Associate Mission, is too remote to wait for his commendation of this work and its workmen to the faithful. He will not, therefore, blame me for doing it myself.
During the twenty-six years of my border Missionary life, I have been to the East but three times, so that my personal intercourse with Eastern Churchmen is very limited. It was the Nashotah Mission which first inaugurated the primitive form of Associate Missionary work for America, and its glorious fruit speaks for it in terms such as require for it no commendation greater than itself. For nine years, I was Dean of that Mission. It was for this country an untried system, which three young men, just in Orders, attempted. To say they made no mistakes, or could not have done better, had they had older heads upon their shoulders, none of the three pretends to assert. To say they ought to have had a Bishop at their head, is nothing more than to say that the first planting of the Church in America ought to have had a Bishop for it So it ought. But in default of this, which was simply an impossibility in those times, the next best thing was for England's Church to send over Presbyters. And, in like manner, the next best thing for us to do was to work and to wait--not, as some would have it, wait to work, and never do anything.
In the year 1835, the General Convention of the Church sent forth its first Missionary Bishop, the present venerable Prelate of Wisconsin [Bishop Kemper]; but he was to go forth little different from any Presbyter Missionary, saving the vast amount of territory he must travel over, viz., Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, and unborn Territories adjacent. It was expected that members of the second Order of the Ministry would join him; but it was likewise understood that he would distribute and locate these at isolated points, where young cities were likely to spring up; and the Bishop, as a superintendent, would visit them, and encourage them in their isolation.
How different the present plan of operation, with our lately-appointed Missionary Bishops, may clearly be seen; and it will not be thought presuming if I allude somewhat to it, and to that which awakened it in the mind of the American Church. The first aim of the new Bishop now is centralization. He does not count his forces as formerly, and distribute them asunder as wide as the poles; but he looks over his field to find the proper fulcrum; and, establishing himself upon it, proceeds to rally his men at the centre, and here puts them to work, and from this they radiate along with him over the whole diocese.
Thus the Associate Mission is at last in its right place. Twenty-five years ago, it was necessarily a Presbyter Associate Mission, because there was not a Bishop in the Church who felt prepared to adopt its system. But now it has become rooted in the soil of the Church, is recommended by the General Convention, adopted by the Board of Missions, and every Bishop, who loves aggressive work, will have his Association of laborers for all manner of Churchly work.
This Associate plan for Evangelizing a country such as ours, or any heathen land, was inaugurated at Nashotah, because it was primitive and catholic. Under this system, Nashotah has sent forth one hundred Missionaries already, and caused the Church in Wisconsin to bud and blossom as the rose. This same system in Minnesota, was an offshoot from Nashotah, When it entered this new Territory in 1850, there was neither Missionary nor Church building throughout its 81,000 square miles, an area little short of all New England and New York State. [The Rev. E. G. Gear, D.D., was Chaplain at Fort Snelling prior to 1850, and did much valuable Missionary work at St. Paul and the Falls of St. Anthony.] The result of this early planting has been often told you by the Bishop of this Diocese. Upon his consecration, he became the head of our Associate Mission. The equipment of this Diocese in education and Missionary work is too well known to require recital here. With the nutriment he ought yet to receive from abroad, for manly growth, its promise is to become the glory of the Northwest. It has, as a Diocese, the foundation strongly laid; and, at this point in its history, it becomes me to leave it, to lay foundations anew in waste places.
I have looked out and beheld Nebraska and Dakota, our next-door neighbors, furnished with Bishop Clarkson and his Associate Mission. In looking on again, we see Colorado, with Bishop Randall and his Associate Mission; and once more, we behold Montana furnished with the young and energetic Tuttle, who will, without doubt, call for his Associate Mission.
But in stretching the eye over the Rocky Mountains, we behold California, with its 189,000 square miles, having indeed its Bishop, but standing alone, and in vain appealing to the East for the Associate Mission. We behold Oregon and Washington, with their 308,000 square miles, and a Bishop, but no Associate Mission. Long years ago, Bishop Scott wrote me his earnest invitation to join him in inaugurating this very work for his Missionary jurisdiction. It was at a time when I was pledged to Minnesota, and was compelled to refuse him. I see this vast Pacific Coast, measuring 497,000 square miles, full of promise from its own internal resources and natural position on this Continent, destined at no distant day to become an empire in wealth and population, as it is already such in area, and as yet destitute of a School of the Prophets for raising up a native ministry.
In looking upon this state of things, so lamentable to the heart of every true Missionary, I felt strong in pressing upon my Bishop and this Mission their acceptance of my resignation, that I might lay foundations once more. My object is to locate in some central and accessible agricultural district of that vast region; place ourselves and work under the Bishop of those parts, and commence the education of young men for the Ministry.
We wish to take out with us five at least, who. will prepare for Holy Orders, and begin at once a system of Missionary work, with itineracy, for a region at least fifty miles in diameter. It is evident this force is not too great; on the contrary, incomparably too small for such a vast field. I therefore ask for these my Associates, both Clergy and candidates, an outfit sufficient to reach the Pacific, and when there a shelter for our heads. Like great national ventures into parts unknown, we ought to have at least a year's subsistence.
Although a Missionary for quarter of a century, and already feeling the sure signs of age creeping on, I have never thought of self, when making rich gain in lands and houses for the Church, for I shall go forth from this whole work with hands clean from all contact with worldly possessions, even to an acre of land or so much as the nail of a dwelling. I speak of this to the Church, in order that the unselfish character of this Missionary work may appear to Christian men who have all this while been laying up in store for themselves riches, which--if in any measure consecrated to GOD and His Church in the way of this Mission--will be faithfully applied, not on some new and untried project, but upon what has been so well tested on practical and historical grounds as to leave to none among us, touching success, the shadow of a doubt. If my brethren of the Ministry feel the imperative nature of this Missionary venture for CHRIST, they will, I trust, take part in it by commending it to their people in such form as may most effectually accomplish for us what in CHRIST'S Name we ask.
It becomes me to record here the deep sense of gratitude I must ever bear to young and old, who have so freely during all these years aided me. Through their prayers and offerings, to GOD I must ascribe all the wonderful success of every Missionary effort in which I have been engaged. With the same Christian helps, which pledge GOD the HOLY GHOST to be our abiding Aid and Comforter, we again go forth, believing surely in the Promises of the LORD JESUS to His Church.
J. LLOYD BRECK,
(May 28th, Faribault--To his Brother Charles) ....... I have now made my arrangements to leave Faribault June 17th; spend the 19th and 20th with brother Samuel (being at Nashotah for their Ordination on the latter of those two days); stop at Racine College the night of the 21st; reach Chicago on the 22d, and by invitation of Bishop Whitehouse visit the churches in that city and present the Coast Mission. On the 24th I hope to take a look in upon a wonderful Romish Institution, called Notre Dame, at South Bend, Indiana, in order to present to Eastern Churchmen some facts relating to the actual growth of the Romish Church in the West. Then I visit Terre Haute, where the Bishop resides, and where the Church School, St. Agnes' Hall, is located. Thence to Pittsburgh, where I pass Sunday the 3oth by invitation of Bishop Kerfoot, and expect to address the churches of the city. On Monday I start for Philadelphia and Bristol, which I hope to reach on Tuesday night. On Thursday or Friday I visit St. Mary's Hall, Burlington; and on Saturday go to Philadelphia for Sunday. If I am to be in Philadelphia, I will try to visit you and yours on the Saturday or the Monday. I am to be at the Annandale Commencement on July nth (Thursday). The next Sunday, July i8th, at the three churches in Poughkcepsie. This ends my first chapter of appointments. I am now on my way to the Chippeways, two hundred miles from Faribault, where five Missionary years were spent.
It maybe worth while to put on record here the personal letter in which the Bishop of Minnesota bade farewell to the founder of his Diocese:
(Trinity Tuesday, Faribault, Minnesota.)
My Beloved Brother: I cannot part with you to go to your new and distant field of labor on the Pacific Coast, without assuring you of my love, and giving you, as I do, my hearty God-speed and blessing. My first interest in this Western field, as well as for the perishing Red Man, grew out of my interest in your ventures of faith in this Missionary work. For years before I ever met you face to face, you had my love, my sympathy, my prayers. Since we have been associated in Missionary work, I believe we have learned to love each other more for JESUS' sake. If it had been the will of GOD, I should have kept you here to complete a work still in its infancy, but which under GOD may bless the world when both of us are sleeping with the dead. It seems to be the path of duty that you should go to aid my good brother Kip in the building of a Mission-School for his imperial Diocese. That he will give you his love and support I do not doubt, and I believe GOD will bless you.
I can only assure you that I shall always hear with deepest interest of your labors; and, if you can, in your careworn life, send me tidings of your work, it will be a pleasure. You take with you my love, my gratitude for your work here, and my blessing. Unto GOD'S gracious mercy and protection I commit you. The LORD bless you and keep you. The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace, both now and evermore.
Your friend and Bishop,
H. B. WHIPPLE,
Bishop of Minnesota.
The Board of Trustees of the Bishop Seabury Mission also bade its Founder, farewell in resolutions drawn by the Rev. Edward R. Welles, now Bishop of Wisconsin:
Whereas, the Rev. J. Lloyd Breck, D.D., who is about to leave the Diocese of Minnesota, has transmitted to the Bishop Seabury Mission a letter of resignation; therefore be it Resolved, That the resignation of the Rev. Dr. Breck be hereby accepted. For, though we deeply regret his departure, we feel that, in his own language, it is in obedience to "long and continued convictions of duty." The Trustees and friends of the Mission can never fully express a sense of their gratitude--the gratitude rather of the Church--to him who was the founder of this great work, and has been, from the day of its first undertaking, an unwearied and unwearying laborer in its interests. They can assure him, however, that here, where his labors have been so abundant, and, by the blessing of GOD, have been rewarded with such large results, his name will ever be lovingly cherished; and that the prayers of many hearts will follow, day by day, the ventures of faith, and the consecrated toils of Mission life, in that far-away field of labor to which GOD'S Providence has called him.
The Convention of the Diocese of Minnesota, by a unanimous vote, put on record their grateful sense of his long, arduous, and self-denying labors, and assured him that he would carry with him their earnest wishes and prayers for his future happiness and success.
The Ladies of the Parish of the Good Shepherd, Faribault, presented him a watch, together with a long and warm-hearted letter of farewell, in which they asked that--
As your prayers ascend to the Throne of Heavenly Grace, on that far distant shore, may these, your loving daughters in CHRIST, be remembered there, as children of the same family, and heirs of the same precious hopes.
Nor was the local press behindhand in expressing the regret which the entire community felt at the loss of so good a man from among them:
Since he first made Faribault his residence, his labors for the Church to which he belongs must have been most zealous and untiring. He has done a work among the sick and poor that will never be forgotten by them or us, who have been daily witnesses of his self-denying efforts in their behalf. In times of contagious sickness, or distress of any kind, he has been their never-failing helper and friend, often relieving their wants from his own purse.....We can only grieve that duty calls him away from us. We have no fears that he will not succeed in his new field of labor, for he carries with him the surest "element of success--an earnest determination to do his duty in all things.
Thus closed his great work in the Northwest: and now another great work was about to begin.
When he had reflected upon the subject of laying another foundation, and had made up his mind to go to California, he made known his intentions to many of his friends at the East. Many expressed their full approval, and encouraged him to go on: but no one sent him any money. In faith he went on making his preparation, and gathering up his forces, when as yet he had not the means even to leave Faribault. No one would have observed any hesitation, any sign of drawing back.
In the midst of this state of things, woman, in her ready thoughtfulness, came to his help. A lady in the city of Paris sent him five hundred dollars, to move his family to the Atlantic coast. Next, came five hundred dollars from a gentleman in the same city, Edgar Howland, Esq. As he passed through Pittsburgh no aid was extended, his liberal friend being absent; but on Mr. Schoenberger's return, he mailed him five hundred dollars. Then Mr. John L. Aspinwall--with the kindness he had always shown--handed him five hundred. Thus a start was given, by which he was enabled, with other incoming contributions, to defray the great expense of the long voyage to San Francisco, and to pay two thousand dollars to help purchase the property at Benicia.
This exemplifies his whole life of faith,--not faith, however, without works. He could say, with great truth, "I will shew thee my faith by my works."
Many of the details of this period of preparation will, doubtless, be of interest:
(July 18th, New York.--To his Brother Charles.)
.... Thank you for yours of the 12th, which conveys to me the very pleasing intelligence, that you have sent $84 to me. This sum, with the other offerings of the day, will make up nearly $300, counting the money from St. John's for the melodeon. This is better than Sunday last at Poughkeepsie, which amounted to $200 or $225. Brother John gives me $500. So that I am doing finely. The Annandale young men gave me $40, whilst three of their number go with me. Also one from the General Seminary, just entering his middle year.....
You have heard of the death of Bishop Scott in New York City. He took the fever crossing the Isthmus. I had already a letter from one of his clergy, earnestly asking me to take Oregon in preference to California, and arranging for an interview in New York City with Bishop Scott. The letter was written with his knowledge and wish, which is very gratifying to me.
(July 25th.--To his Brother Charles)
.....I am writing you from Sandy Hill, and on Sunday I was at Burnt Hills. You may wonder what could be done at such places. I cannot fully answer for the former, as the service has not yet come off. But at the latter, which was Sunday afternoon, my extemporaneous address called out a layman, the celebrated Mr. Delavan, of temperance fame, who asked of his pastor the privilege to speak. He made an earnest appeal, and then invited me to his house. This invitation was accepted the next day, when he handed me a check for $100, and told me to let him hear from me before and after I should leave the East, and he might do something more. I was at Schenectady in (he morning, and saw your old friend, the Rev. Dr. Payne. Here the offering was $71, and he thought it would reach $100. The other offerings of the day were about $60.
The formal organization of the Associate Mission, at a striking public service in the Church of the Holy Communion, New York, closed this work of preparation:
THE PACIFIC COAST ASSOCIATE MISSION, NEW YORK. On the evening of October gth, was held at the Church of the Holy Communion, New York, a service which carried our thoughts back to those earliest days of the Church, when the HOLY GHOST said to "certain prophets and teachers" at Antioch: Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where-unto I have called them. As in those early days, so now; men already tried and proved in the service of the LORD received a consecration to special work, that they might go forth, encouraged and strengthened, to new fields of labor and endurance. No one who is at all familiar with the history of our Domestic Missions, can fail to look with joyful hope upon any plan for the good of men, which is to be carried out under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Breck. The record of his past gives us the richest promise for his future. The nave and transept of the church were filled with many who loved the cause to which these men were about to dedicate themselves. Twenty-five clergymen, with Bishop Southgate in his Episcopal robes, entered the chancel. Prayers were said, the congregation joining heartily in the responses and the singing; and then the Bishop said that, before organizing the Association, some of our clergy would make brief addresses, to explain the nature of the work about to be undertaken. The addresses were made by the Rev. Drs. Littlejohn and Twing, the Rev. Dr. Charles Breck, Dr. Tuttle, and Dr. Haight. They explained the nature of the Associate Mission, which goes forth, strong in its united effort, to build up a training-school for the Church, and, with the blessing of GOD, to do a mighty work on the Pacific Coast. They showed how much more good is done, how much more strength gained, by unity of action, than by even the most devoted labors of those who work alone; and, a strong religious centre being established, its influence, widening in every direction, must become an almost unlimited and irresistible power. They spoke in glowing terms of what had already been accomplished by Dr. Breck, at Nashotah, Racine, and Faribault; of the privations which he had already endured, not only without a murmur, but without even making it known abroad that he had such privations; and of the assurance of success in the new field, given by the energy and devotion of the leader of this band of Missionaries. They asked for sympathy and prayer, as well as material aid, from those who remain at home; and one would think that the heart must be cold indeed, that could fail to respond to their earnest words. After the offerings of the people had been made, Dr. Breck, Dr. Merrick, and the Rev. Messrs. Smith and Cowan, stood up before the Bishop, while, in the presence of the congregation, the Instrument of Association was read, binding them together for mutual help and support, in the great work they were undertaking. Then they knelt while the Bishop invoked upon each of them the blessing of GOD, and that help through which alone their labors could be successful. It was indeed a solemn consecration, well fitted to strengthen them for the trials which doubtless lie before them. The Bishop's charge was given, with its wise and loving counsel; and, after the blessing of Peace, we separated.
The next day, the Missionaries with friends and well-wishers received the Holy Communion, and listened to a stirring address from Bishop Coxe, at St. Luke's Church. The Bishop had, by invitation, come on from his Diocese to be present and officiate on this important occasion: He heard of the service the night before; of the great congregation, and of the large number of the clergy in the chancel. On the morning of his arrival he was delighted to find the clergy in large force, and the church filled to its capacity. He felt indeed that his old friend retained his hold upon the hearts of the people, and that his influence had but increased with his years.
In the evening, Dr. Breck, in company with some of the clergy, visited the General Theological Seminary, and addressed the students. It was in all particulars most admirable, and had there been any great degree of Missionary spirit among the young men preparing to consecrate themselves to the service of their Saviour, their hearts could not but have been touched, when this frontier Missionary told them that when the first Associate Mission of the American Church, formed in the very heart of that Seminary, went forth to do the work of the LORD, they cherished the hope that each year would witness a like association girding itself manfully for the spread of the Gospel of the Kingdom in the hard fields of the Far West. Alas! in all the past twenty-six years not one band had been formed.
On the day after, the Secretary and General Agent, and others, "accompanied them to the ship," and they departed, fourteen in number, including ladies and Divinity students, for their new and distant field, followed by the hopes and prayers of many hearts.
(October 14th, On board Steamer.--To his Brother Charles)
....... We are off the Coast of Georgia, and expect to meet the up-steamer in the morning, when we can exchange mails. I have a splendid body of co-laborers. All of them have given themselves to the work, and they are truly a free-will offering to the LORD. Yesterday we had Morning Service and Sermon. The order for all this line of Steamers from New York to San Francisco is to have the Church Service, to be said, in the absence of a clergyman, by the Captain, or some one appointed by him. In the afternoon we had chanting and psalmody on the deck, to the evident delight of the passengers. After this the children were gathered together and taught. At night, service and sermon again. Twice a week we have a Bible Class in the evening. In the afternoon of week-days we have singing on deck for the steerage passengers, when we add some word, of exhortation (we are about one thousand souls on board), so that our Missionary work has begun without delay. Who can tell what twenty-one days' teaching and praying will do? We have also, as a Missionary body, the daily prayers at 9 o'clock A. M., in our berths, for the male portion. Dr. Merrick is to be most valuable to me. He preached an admirable sermon last night. He is moreover a very exact scholar. All the others are imbued with a Churchly and earnest spirit, which is soul-inspiring to me. I am so thankful you and yours could be with us during our last days in New York. I am sure we all were strengthened in our work by the exhortations and godly counsel and Holy Services we were permitted to enjoy. Your own excellent address was worthy of the occasion, and I thank you heartily for it.
(October 15th, On board the Henry Chauncey.--To the Misses Edwards.)
Your great kindness in coming down to see me and all mine (including Associates) will ever be treasured up as the happiest link of our long-cherished friendship. How beautiful it is, thus to measure off life's earthly span by these periods of the growth of the Kingdom of Grace! Surely our hearts ought to be encouraged in the work we have undertaken, when so many loving Christian characters are with us. It is well that we know not always what is before us, for I am sure we should not be able to meet the gush of Christian friendship. It was so with my own heart at the Church of the Holy Communion and at St. Luke's. It was a great comfort to me to know that the Seabury Society was there represented. You were glad, I am sure, to see so many clergy extend to me the sympathy and love of their devoted hearts. It was, throughout, the most genuine and quiet out-pouring of holy faith and love in the Spirit that I have ever witnessed. Pardon my thus writing you from aboard the ship which carries us to our new home. You would have preferred a letter from the new field. But I write now, because it may be quite out of my power to write you as early as I could wish, after reaching the scene of our labors. We are now the fourth day on our voyage, and hope to-morrow to meet the up-steamer and exchange mails, which will account for your early receipt of this epistle. We have passed the Island first discovered by Columbus, and now Cuba appears, and we are in the heat of your hot summer days, and how much hotter it is to become remaineth yet to appear. I shall wish to be packed in ice, I know. The ladies have all been sick with one exception. The sister from Boston has been entirely well, and has been to us all an Angel of Mercy. I am thankful to say Brother Lloyd has not been over the sea, although for three days feeling very uncomfortable. Mrs. B. said, had she been Columbus, in view of such distressing sea-sickness, she would not have discovered America. We are one thousand souls on board, a'nd the ship touches nowhere until we reach Aspinwall. I am thankful to believe my company of Associates is all that I could wish, and far more than I could dare to ask for. We shall reach the Isthmus by Saturday, and hope by the next Sunday to be on the Pacific Ocean. We know how fully we enjoy the prayers of the faithful, and in those we have confidence to reach the haven where we would be.
(October 25th, 1867, Acapulco, Mexico.--To the Spirit of Missions.)
...... The Associate Mission to the Pacific Coast accepts with gratitude the invitation of the General Secretary of the Domestic Committee to make The Spirit of Missions its organ of communication with the general Church. We are the more grateful for this kindness, because we stand independent of all Missionary Societies, dependent upon the fraternal offices of those who feel a sympathy in our. labors. In harmony with this, we shall ever live and labor on, trusting in the explicit language of our LORD to the Seventy, and to the Apostles, when He sent them forth into the world "without purse and without scrip." On Saturday morning, the 19th inst., we reached the Isthmus in health and good spirits. Our first promptings were to thank GOD for His preservation of us through two thousand miles of our voyage.
Before we were ready to leave the vessel, we were kindly greeted by J. L. DeGraw, Esq., an officer of the Panama R. R. Co., inviting us to breakfast with Wm. H. Parker, Esq., Superintendent of the road. Arrangements were now made for the Morning Service in the beautiful stone church of Aspinwall, and notice thereof was given to the passengers and others. Mr. DeGraw prepared the way, making all things harmonize with our feelings as strangers, so that after a week upon the sea, and now upon the land, and within the portals of a church, we felt as if again at home. It is Old English in style, cruciform, with pointed windows in the nave, and large triplets in the north, south, and east, with a still larger arched window in the west, all made of finely stained glass. This church edifice, the only house of worship in Aspinwall, cost $60,000 in gold, and was built by the Panama R. R. Co. and private subscriptions in New York. It is the only instance we have yet heard of in our country, where a secular corporation has provided out of its own funds a church, and also the generous support of the pastor. Of all places we have ever seen, Aspinwall, in its mixed population, stands foremost in need of Missionary labor. The church here was consecrated by the Right Rev. Alonzo Potter, D.D., in the year 1864, this being the last official act of his Episcopate.
We take pleasure in here recording the courteous manners of the Captain and all the officers of the steamer Henry Chauncey, and, as well, the civilities of Mr. Parker, Superintendent of the railroad, during our stay with them. And for the comfort and satisfaction of clergymen going over this road, we can ensure to them the utmost attentions of Mr. DeGraw, and no one will thank us more heartily for saying this than Mr. DeGraw himself, whose happiness appears to consist in ministering to the necessities of others. The kindness of W. H. Aspinwall, Esq., and D. Hoadley, Esq., the President of the Panama R. R. Co., through the agency of your Secretary, the Rev. Dr. Twing, secured to all the members of this Mission a half-fare passage and reduced freight charges from New York to San Francisco; and we desire here to thank these gentlemen for their exertions, which proved so valuable to us at this opening of our work, which necessarily is very expensive.
This Mission, in its present strength, ought to have been in this field of the Pacific fifteen years ago. Had it been so planted, what glorious fruit would have now appeared to gladden all hearts! Rome comes with its schismatic hosts of organized men and women into this our heritage, and here offers to educate the sons and daughters of all. The result is apparent. The offer is accepted, until the true Branch of the Vine shall have her own educational system and works of charity organized and effectual over all the land. This Associate Mission, supported by the daily supplies of the daily mail, and sustained through a common fund, proposes, under GOD, to raise up a native Ministry for evangelizing the waste places of the land, and also to educate in parish schools, in grammar and in boarding-schools, the sons and daughters of all who shall be committed to our care. For this latter work we have invited the co-operation of our Sisters in Christ, and we continue our calls for such to engage in an avocation renowned in primitive days, and second only to the work of the Ministry itself.
(Second Letter to the Spirit of Missions)
...... After a prosperous voyage of twenty-four days, we arrived at San Francisco on Sunday morning, November 3d, at sunrise. On that same day we had the privilege of returning thanks to Almighty GOD for His merciful preservation of us from the perils of the sea, and of participation in the Holy Eucharist. All this was most fitting the Missionary character of our company. The same day, too, the Bishop and Clergy of the city presented the cause of the Associate Mission to their congregations, which proved how hearty was our welcome to this Coast. On Monday we were again travelers sixty miles into the interior, where our former associate and Missionary, the Rev. E. Steele Peake, now Rector of Trinity Church, San José, had erected a wooden building ample for all our present accommodations.
The three weeks of Coast life now passed have afforded us some opportunity for forming an estimate of the Church work already accomplished here. The Diocese of California has a strength in parochial work far greater than is generally accredited abroad. How few know that there are twenty-three church buildings erected; that the two Convocations are opening up new stations in all the rural parts of the Diocese; and that California numbers at this time thirty-eight clergymen. And whilst noting those statistics, it is but due to Bishop Kip, who has for fourteen years faced all the peculiar difficulties incident to this distant field, to state that this Diocese will not suffer from a comparison with most of our Western Dioceses. When he came here in 1853, there was but one clergyman at work in California. Had an Associate Mission for the education of a native Ministry been then begun, this field would doubtless now have been better furnished. But as it is, though our cheeks burn continually with the blush of shame for having come as luggers behind, with a Diocese harmonious to a remarkable degree, with workmen in the field who need not to be ashamed, and with a Bishop in the Church of GOD quiet, patient, and. of acknowledged diligence in the work of his high office, we believe it is not too late to lay foundations for Missionary schools, which shall yet rival the remarkable institutions which we find here before us.
Should we decide upon the San Jose Valley for our Mission and schools, we find alongside of our own humble Missionary cabins, great buildings of size and repute, well calculated to throw us into the shade. These buildings are as follows: In San Jose, the Romish Academy of Notre Dame, now in its sixteenth annual session, conducted by a full force of their Sisters, with free school for day scholars averaging one hundred in number, while all classes, including boarders, number (as per catalogue for 1866) about one hundred and eighty-eight. Their buildings are surrounded by a beautiful garden and extensive play-grounds. The school is large, commodious, and well-ventilated. The entire front one hundred and sixty feet long, the east wing running back one hundred and five feet, the one to the west one hundred and three feet, and the whole offering accommodations for a large number of pupils. Belonging to this establishment is a largely furnished library fitted for their aims, adapted to the age and capacity of their pupils; also a cabinet with an apartment of specimens in conchology, mineralogy, and also a philosophical, chemical, and geographical apparatus. And at Santa Clara, only three miles distant, they have a College, also sixteen years old, under the superintendence of the Jesuits, with a full staff of professors, and possessing a library of over ten thousand volumes, a chemical laboratory, and a museum of Natural History, all complete, keeping pace with the progress of science. Besides fourteen professors in the Classic, Scientific, and Theological courses, there are at present one hundred and eighty-two boarding scholars and thirty-four day scholars, all in large well-planned buildings, adequate to all their purposes.
With such institutions of established reputation, with discipline so perfect as to dispel from the minds of all classes of Protestant fathers and mothers the least fear of the Jesuit who has built them, we are to begin the feeble work of laying foundations. We appeal to brethren who think, with us, that this goodly heritage should be planted and watered by our Apostolic Church, to act with us shoulder to shoulder in doing this work. There are lands to be purchased. The people here will do a part. There is a Mission House to be built. The Clergy and students must be sheltered. Other students for the Ministry are already applying for admission. We have come out to educate them, and now we must not refuse them. Parents are asking us to take their sons. Mere cabins will not answer for them. They must be well cared for in suitable buildings. These sons ought to be received at the earliest day. It is from these we are to fill up the ranks of the Divinity students, our future Ministry. A Christian lady has joined us to educate the daughters of the land. Christian fathers and mothers in the East, who have, or may have, sons and daughters on this Coast, will, we are assured, work with these female Missionaries, by aiding them in securing suitable buildings. Such demonstration in the material edifice, along with our own personal devotion to the work, will attract the attention of a people who manifestly are ready and anxious to have us in their midst, to teach them and their children the pure Gospel of CHRIST.
(November 12th, San Jose.--To Miss Edwards.)
I have been one week in our temporary home at this place, where we have a house rented until we decide upon our location. We have entered upon our labors in the education of young men for the Ministry. Already we have an applicant from one, well recommended, who is a scholar in both the Spanish and French languages. From the large number of people speaking the former language residing here, he could do well in worldly business, but he now gladly embraces an opportunity, long desired, for making a preparation for the Ministry.......
The fabulous statements concerning this land will be evident to you upon a few facts of personal experience. Last week I gathered and ate large strawberries from the open garden of this place. Also I gathered the red raspberry from their vines. The former are raised every month in the year. Almonds and figs grow out of doors, whilst pears are seen in such profusion everywhere, that upon my asking why they were left on the ground, I was answered, "Because no one would take them away;" peaches, too, and apples in the same way. And yet until last week (one day), and once only, five weeks ago, there has been no rain since the early part of April. The rainy season so far is the most beautiful weather you can imagine. It is, every twenty-four hours, impossible to decide whether it is Spring, Summer, or Autumn. And this continues so up to April. In the mean season, the grass grows and all nature puts on her beautiful garments. The roses and flowers look lovely, but they are so common, no one stops to admire them.
The Artesian wells, here and there, flow perpetually with an abundance of waters which continually astonishes the mind. One I saw to-day was a volume six inches in diameter, rushing with the swiftness of your street-hose.
The weather is far milder than I found it in New Haven at my last visit, and it is seldom ever cooler or ever warmer than it is now. We see the majestic Coast Range of mountains, seven or nine miles away, whilst yet farther off is the Eastern Range.
Last Sunday was the first upon this Mission. We preached in a village of 3000 people, where the Church Service had never before been heard. The Mission was in four different places on that day. We scatter, on Sunday next, to points as distant as forty miles. I am writing now simply to let you and the dear sisters and friends know of our safety, that, along with us, you may thank GOD for His merciful Providence over us.
1868. (Third Letter to the Spirit of Missions)
It is with gratitude to Almighty GOD that, within two months after our arrival on these shores, we can announce to our friends the choice of a location for our Mission. The achievement of go important an end, in so brief space of time, can only be ascribed to a special Providence. Our attention had been called to several localities, beautiful and ready of access, but they were without improvement, and we could see no hope of occupying them before Mid-Summer or Autumn. Whilst dwelling upon so grave a question, the offer to sell to us an institution, already equipped with lands and buildings and furniture, came to us. These buildings and their premises we now occupy. The Bishop,' with clergy and laity of this Diocese, came nobly forward and accepted our proposition to divide equally with us the cost of purchase. The buildings, furniture and site of "Benicia Collegiate Institute," were offered to us for fourteen thousand dollars. Of this sum eight thousand dollars were to be paid now, and six thousand dollars in one year.
From this it appears that the Pacific Coast Mission has four thousand dollars, and the Diocese of California four thousand dollars, to pay at once. The Mission had a balance of its outfit money left, which realized, in gold, two thousand dollars, which we have paid on this purchase, and now our venture of faith amounts to as much more, for the payment of which a short time has been allowed us. We look to the assurances of clergy and brethren, which were made us everywhere, the past Summer, in the East, and especially in those solemn meetings on the eve of our departure from New York for this coast, that we should not lack sympathy and co-operation. Hence we thought it not presumption in venturing upon this purchase of school property, which was well located upon the great inland water thoroughfare of the State, and within thirty miles of San Francisco. It is a property with thirty-five acres of land, which, in their wild state, could not be improved and ornamented as this is in less than three years; and the buildings of brick and wood are such as we could not hope to erect in two years' time, nor at a cost of less than twenty thousand dollars.
The Pacific Coast Mission has, by this purchase, a Missionary Home for its clergy and Divinity students, and we stand this day (if we may except the Romanists) the first and only Theological school, which has as yet been founded upon the Pacific Coast. And that our friends and brethren may realize the ready mind for such a school, we would state that the five students who came out with us have five more added to their number. Of the five who have joined us, two were Methodists of high worth, fresh from positions of responsibility in their former connection; a third is a young man, fully prepared in lingual attainment to preach in Spanish and French. The large proportion of Spaniards in our population makes this acquisition very desirable.
Of the two principal buildings, the one of brick accommodates the clergy and Divinity students, while the other is, this month (January), prepared to receive Grammar-school boys as boarders and day-scholars. From these youth, duly impressed- with the love of CHRIST, and a desire for the salvation of souls, we hope in due time to find the ready material for the Divinity department. It is, therefore, also actually a Missionary-school, but, at the same time, one in which the present Theological students can, by teaching, largely aid in their own support. Already we. are indebted to the Society for the Increase of the Ministry for the support of four students. We hope never to see the clay when we shall be compelled to refuse a proper applicant for the Divinity school.
Scholarships of one hundred and fifty dollars per year will enable us to support a student. These students become workers in the school, and also Missionaries in the field, as lay-readers and catechists. We write at this time, that our friends may join us in meeting this venture for CHRIST which we have made. It is a venture approved of by our friends here, and which has given the Church the first property, aside from Parishes, upon the Pacific Coast.
(Fourth Letter to the Spirit of Missions)
Our friends have already been informed that the Pacific Coast Mission has a home on this distant shore. Our movement is progressive in our Theological-school, and a beginning has been made in our Grammar-school for boys. The brick building, which stands prominent among the houses constituting our purchase at Benicia, has been devoted to students for the Ministry, and is named "Epiphany Hall." This name has a Missionary significance in itself, sufficient to authorize it. And in this name we forget not the happy allusions of the Bishop of Western New York, in his sermon following upon our organization, last October, in which he kindly anticipated other and brighter stars arising in this new Epiphany for both East and West, and for other points in the Missionary zodiac. [The Anniversary Feast of the Epiphany commemorates our first occupation at Benicia, at which time we first celebrated the highest Mysteries of the Faith in this place.] Epiphany Hall has already eight students for the Ministry, and ere long we hope it will number as many more.
We likewise commenced the work of the education of the sons of the land in a junior grammar-school. As a boarding-school, under Churchly influence, it will necessarily become the nursery of the Divinity Hall. This school will, in its character, work, and success, form the basis of a future communication to our readers.
Our Mission has developed with the singular rapidity of the growth of a new country. We have been but four months (this March 3d) in California, and we are as orderly in our Mission House, and in our Divinity Hall and Grammar-school, as many Eastern institutions after a growth of years. We are a Missionary colony, transplanted and at once set to work. It is the way things are done here in every department of life, whether of science or business; and it would be unwise for the Church to pursue a slower method, and be left behind the age in which she is designed by her Great Head to be the leaven of all wholesome growth. The time too, has come, for us to be permanently incorporated by a legal charter as an educational and Missionary institution. This step necessarily demands of us a corporate name, and after advice with the Bishop of the Diocese, we have adopted the legal designation of The Missionary College of St. Augustine. The Bishop is made President of a Board of Twelve Trustees, and this property will be legally placed in their possession for the purposes herein named. The trustees hold the property and administer its temporal affairs, but have nothing to do with the discipline or literature of the respective departments. These are forever to reside in the Faculty. What, as a Missionary College, will be the future of this institution for this Coast, we know not; but it is certain that we have a work to do which has riot been attempted until now, and which only such a Mission as this can hope to accomplish. California will, in due time, sustain this work, but to our friends and brethren in the East we must look for the support of its present necessities. Until now, there never has been an object of Churchly work inaugurated by the Diocese, catholic in character and extent; and hence it is impossible to expect Churchmen all at once to realize the importance of a Theological-school and the Christian education of their children. The Diocese thus far has nobly co-operated with us; but to expect all to be done by it, will not be thought just by any, here or abroad. The Church of the Atlantic and the Church of the Pacific, we are convinced, will co-operate in brotherly harmony in laying these foundations for her future edification in CHRIST; and the debt of gratitude will be repaid, not merely in silver and gold, for other spiritual wastes yet to appear, but, for all time to come, California, by this School of the Prophets, will manifest other Epiphanies in the training up and sending forth many heralds of the Cross. California has already a population of 500,000; an area of 188,982 square miles; a coast, within reach to the isles of the sea, of 3,000 miles in length; and a heathen race, now 20,000 strong, here in our midst. Through these we may hope to send the Gospel to their fatherland across the great Pacific Ocean; and for this, in part, we must strive. Merchandise is now opening a pathway through the mighty waters; the Missionary, entering upon that course with the higher aspirations of CHRIST'S minister, may become partaker of His blessing; whilst men, thinking themselves wiser in their generation than the children of Light, seek the mammon of unrighteousness.
(January 18th, Benicia.--To Miss Edwards)
.... I am now writing you from out of our Mission House. The enclosed picture of its buildings, I sent, I think, to Sister Mary some days since. If she has received it, then you can make some good use of this among our friends. I confess to a little disappointment in not hearing anything in yours of the 27th ult. about the offering of the Seabury Society. Since it was promised to us, I have so fully calculated upon it, that it is to form an important portion of the payment for this College purchase. I hope it has been transmitted to us by the ordinary method of a bank order, or by a deposit in New York, subject to our order. Pardon the seemingly business aspect of this letter. We live so far off, and we hear so seldom from the East, we feel as though our friends had forgotten us. We have not even learned yet what the offering at the service had at the Church of the Holy Communion amounted to.
Had I not worked as hard as I did in the East all last Summer, I could never have taken advantage of this important purchase. I paid the entire outfit of this large company from New York to the coast of California, and here have expended a great deal more, and now I have converted the balance of $3,000 into gold of $2,238, and paid out of it $2,000 towards this purchase.
I have yet $2,000 in gold to pay, which is my venture of faith. The Diocese has well done its part in assuming half the purchase. We have property not only well worth $25,000, which we get for $14,000, but we have a clear gain in our favor of more than a year's advance in our educational system for the young. So much for business. I have written so recently, and have so great burden to bear in the first planting of this School of the Prophets, you will, I am sure, excuse the brevity of this letter.
(April 4th, Benicia.--To Miss Edwards.)
.....We are now settled in our Benicia home, and loot so comfortable, in quarters such as we did not deserve for many a long day. It has been indeed a special Providence which has opened our way to this coast and to these temporal possessions. We have been blessed in a remarkable degree with the goodwill of the Bishop, clergy and people here in joining forces with our dear friends and brethren in the East, to give us this beautiful home. Could you only see it with your eyes, you would exclaim with delight at the sight of the mountain, river and bay scenery. Whilst in our quiet home, we have just what we want for our clergy, for the Divinity students, and for the beginning of our boarding-school for boys. Tell the dear ladies of your Seabury Society that they have helped us to these things, and that their money, five hundred dollars, has been put to the account of this purchase. We thank them for thus administering to our great comfort, but especially for their aid in providing this coast with a Church Home. You have all been with us so many years, that I have come to regard you as Associated Missionaries, and that along with us, this is also your new and successful venture for CHRIST.
And now, good "Cousin Eliza" has also joined our forces, and we must indeed regard her as a valuable ally, and we thank her earnestly for her decided interest in the Missionary College of St. Augustine on the Pacific Coast. Tell her that every co-workers in this field is expected to have a knowledge of the work to be done in the field, and for this reason we shall send her (to your address) the Pacific Churchman, which has been committed to our Associate Mission to edit and to publish. This is a great compliment as well as a great undertaking, but we have at the urgent request of the Bishop and others accepted of it from purely a Missionary point of view. We hope hereby to look in upon yourselves each week, and tell you something of our field. We hope you may find something in this far-distant paper which will gladden your hearts. Its pages may occasionally be read to your society, and possibly some may wish to have their names added to the subscription list. But the copies to yourselves and to Cousin Eliza are sent as we send it to our co-laborers here, who always receive it free.
(June 15th, Benicia.--To Miss Edwards.)
...... You know the Pacific Churchman has been added to our cares. It was not exactly fair to put it upon us; but it appeared to be a duty to take it, and make it a Missionary organ. I hope you like it. It may become an instrument of great good, and a power in the Diocese. You know I have a talent for distributing labor, and in this way we manage it. Our Boys' Grammar School has been a decided success. We hope to have a crowd with us at our new term August 3d. The parish at Benicia has come into our hands, which has a church and parsonage. Two other Missionary parishes, where churches are building, have been committed to our care.
I am now writing you from aboard a shaking steamer, and you will please excuse the chirography. I am just returning from a Missionary excursion into a county where the Church has never before had a Service (saving in two places), yet it is the third county in size in the State. I have traveled to reach Holdsbury over one hundred miles; but the charm of celebrating the Church's first service fully repays me for all the labor. I had Divine Service at three places, and I doubt not a church will be built at one of them within a year. In the course of this visit I baptized seven children, and received two adults to become candidates for Baptism. At one of these three towns, Church Services were held seven years ago. I feel delighted to be once more laying foundations. No doubt, with care, my health will give me for the Church many years g£ hard work. I can walk a number of miles to celebrate Divine Service.......
(January 25th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles.) My precious Brother: Yours of the 29th ult. brought me the first sad intelligence of our brother and sister's loss in England. [William H. the son of John LI. Aspinwall--a most promising young man, died after a few days' illness. He was pursuing his studies at Torquay.] It is a strange calamity befalling the best of GOD'S people. I have written them a long letter of sympathy. I was glad you could assist in the burial. I have not had a line from sister Anna or family since their return home. I hope they have not forgotten me on this distant coast, as Joseph was forgotten in prison. And do not let your dear Sunday School children forget us, at least not until the second and last payment of three thousand in gold is made, which is my part to raise for this purchase.
You will always be glad to know of our success, and especially with the Pacific Churchman, which came out January 1st $250 ahead, and $1000 owing to it, since which date about $350 have been paid in, including $5 from yourself and Mr. Aertsen. Of course my time is not included in the expenses. We ought to have fifteen hundred subscribers, which would enable us to reduce the subscription fee.
I am now writing you one hundred miles from Benicia, at Stockton, where I am officiating for the Sunday. The school has re-opened very nicely, and amid all trials we hope to succeed in planting a Church School of some character upon this Coast.
(June 25th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles)
My precious Brother: Many thanks for your Sunday School contribution to our work upon this border. I trust you will so instruct your successor that he will continue to us their goodwill. Perhaps before you leave, I may be able to write them a letter. At least, at this time, thank them most heartily for me.
As regards the history of the Associate Mission, it is my intention to make it as full as my memory will serve me, for I have always been too busy even to keep notes. No doubt a better history could be made out of my letters, written all along all over the Church. But possibly, if the cause of CHRIST and his Church shall be served thereby, they may, after I am departed this life, come in as expositors of what I now write.
I once began these Reminiscences at Faribault for the Missionary Papers; but Bishop W. interposed, and I silently dropped the whole matter. Mr. Unonius has compiled and published three volumes in Sweden about Nashotah and my work there. He has a picture of myself in the book. He did it all without my knowledge, and now I have a copy of the work which he sent me. Our gardener is a Dane, and he reads the book readily. I have just been up the Sierra Mountains, and have gone over those sprinkled roads, which you talked with me about when I was with you. All along the roads are built wooden-tanks, which are furnished with running water, night and day, from springs, so that they are kept full continually. I visited the gold quartz mine and the placer mines.
The former I saw at work, but my journey was purely a Missionary one, and it well repaid me.
(August 20th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles)
...... You will not blame me when I tell you of the great family which we have, numbering in all over eighty souls. These are all beneath our roof, while two Divinity Professors and a French Teacher, with their families, reside in the village. These have been gathered from all parts, Oregon, Washington Territory, Dakota, Idaho, Nevada, and California. For all these I am held responsible, and the correspondence for them is very great. At the same time I have to teach daily; also take charge of St. Paul's Parish, Benicia, and prepare sermons and lectures. Then I do most of the editing of the Pacific Churchman. You may imagine that my hands must be full. I have been able to write only brief letters home since the decease of our precious and venerable father.......
(September 2d.--To his Brother Charles)
My precious Brother: Yours of the 6th inst. will not be answered by this printed sheet, nevertheless I hope its contents will interest you. I know they will:
The Pacific Coast Associate Mission.
Our friends would, we doubt not, like to know the growth and present and future prospects of the Associate Mission for the Pacific Coast. It will have been two years next October (nth) since the Missionaries set sail at New York. They reached San Francisco, November 3d. December 26th they had bought the property of the Benicia College for $14,000. Friends of the Mission in California paid down $4,000. This Mission, from funds obtained in the East, paid the same amount. The remaining $6,000 was in like manner to be paid in equal parts, by friends here and by our friends abroad. We had two years in which to make the payment. This period terminates the coming December. At that time, this Diocese will be expected to pay its portion, and we shall be required to pay our part. The Diocese has paid $600 on its indebtedness, and the Mission has paid $200, leaving a balance on our part of $2,800 to be paid within the present year. The above is all to be estimated in gold value. A brief quotation from the letter of a gentleman of wealth and high standing on this Coast, in reply to a gentleman in New York, who had written to him to aid us, will settle the question as regards any present hope to found a Divinity School here without foreign aid. He says: "In ordinary times I might succeed in raising money for the Mission, but this year has been hard on our Church people in every sense of the word. I truly believe there is no country in the world where charity is asked as often as in this land of gold. Every one has the highest regard for the self-sacrificing efforts made by the members of this Mission; but to raise for it the sum you name would be impossible this year." Another quotation from a casual letter lately received from a clergyman of high standing, who has been in this field for several years, will bear witness to the importance of our Schools as Missionary work for the Coast: "I am rejoiced to believe and know that your labors and influence for Church education are being felt in the State. The ice is broken. The apathy is overcome and the current is beginning to move. It is slow, but real. I see it wherever I go; and in quarters where it surprises me. You have no idea what a work was to be done when you came, or you would be doubly thankful. I know it, for I have felt it in brain and bone, and had begun to fear the waters would not move in this generation."
When we reached this coast, November 2d, 1867, we did not anticipate the opening of a boarding-school for boys short of two years, or the present time. The rapid development of the educational part of the Mission is as surprising to us as it has been gratifying to the Bishop and Laity of California. We have ten students with us who are intending the Ministry, and we have founded a school, which will be a continual feeder to the Divinity Department. This Grammar-school has sixty-five boarders, under an efficient corps of teachers; and with these sixty-five boys, we look more confidently to see one hundred within the walls of St. Augustine's on the Pacific, a year hence, than we could have imagined the present number possible a year ago, when we had less than twenty.
We ask our friends in the Atlantic States to aid us to redeem the pledge we have given this Diocese, and then in turn we pledge this Diocese to the East, that it will care thenceforth for the interests of this Grammar-school. The Divinity Department will require some foreign aid for a time, but even this will be largely sustained by the patronage of the present flourishing school for boys. Is it too much for us to ask our friends, of so many years' standing, to assist us to meet our present obligations? We have given, without remuneration! beyond the bare necessaries of life, our whole ministry to Missionary labor and to building up Schools of the Prophets in waste places, which are now blessing whole Dioceses. We now ask our friends to extend once more their loving alms and prayers to place another such school (the only one at present on the Pacific Coast) on a basis which shall insure to these remote parts the unfailing supply of Missionaries, who shall not be ashamed or unwilling to plead CHRIST and Him crucified before the mammon of this evil world.....
N. B.--It is but due to the liberality of this coast to state, that several thousand dollars, over and above the payment on the original purchase, have been given to the College for buildings and other improvements, as well as for the purchase of additional lands; so that at this time, we have sixty acres of land in one body, and real estate and improvements which may be valued at not less than thirty thousand dollars.
P. S---Bishop Morris has just sent his son to our school. We have now seventy boarders in the Grammar-school. We board and lodge nearly one hundred persons, counting servants.
(November 3d, 1869, Benicia, Cal,--To------.)
.....To-day is the second anniversary of our arrival on this Coast, and the work already done appears of a magnitude equal to four years at least. The Grammar-school has seventy-four boarders in it under full Church training, and from out of this we look for the future clergy of the Coast. These boys come to us from Washington Territory, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and this State. A mother has just brought her only son to us, a boy of but ten years of age, from the distance of six hundred miles in the interior. The boy had never seen a boy even until this journey! The mother lives sixty miles from the next woman! I speak of this so that you may know the present repute of our Boys' School. Bishop Morris looks to us as his training school for Oregon. The vast importance of this work cannot therefore be overestimated.
Pardon the roughness of my penmanship, as I am writing you from aboard a steamboat with my paper on my lap. I am compelled to take advantage of every opportunity for work. Mrs. B. and I have just been up into the Sierra Mountains for ten days' Missionary work, and we enjoyed the change very much. We were invited to take charge of Bishop Whitaker's parish at Virginia City, Nevada, until his return. The city is 6000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. It is altogether a mining town. The mountains never change their naked and heavy, dead look, except in Winter, when the snow covers them. Some of the peaks are ever asleep in perpetual snow. We found some earnest Churchmen, and, I am happy to say, intelligent Churchmen, among the people. It is true this trip was more a change than a rest.
Thank you for your good opinion of the Pacific Churchman but it will be best for me to give it up, and bestow my attention upon the pressing work before me. I fear it will cease as a Coast paper, and have the Chicago paper substituted for it. I shall be sorry for this on some accounts.
We feel greatly strengthened by the presence of Bishop Morris on this Coast. He has opened his work very finely. He is neither afraid of the Church, nor of work. He has a girls' school opened already with eighty pupils, mostly day scholars. He will soon open a boarding-school in connection with it. These schools, after all, are our great hope for the future. Whenever we plant a good school, the more Churchly it is, the better we find it is sustained.
All our young Dioceses in the West are aiming nobly at this foundation work.
You have, my dear brother, cause to take courage in your generous espousal of this feature of the Church's Mission in this country.
1870. (March 7th, Benicia.--To Miss Edwards)
My last letter to you was written February 8th--the very day you wrote to me; and now I thank you, in the name of this whole Mission, for your renewed offering, and for its generous sum of five hundred dollars. How the ladies ever earn so much, year by year, is wonderful to me. But how well for us that it can be done! What a volume could be written of all your offerings, through all these years, from early Nashotah, St. Paul, St. Columba, Keesahgah Mission to the Ojibwas, then Faribault, and now the Pacific Coast. You and your co-laborers, our dear sisters in CHRIST, have wrought effectually with us in all these places, and you have good reason to be encouraged in all unto which you have put your hands, and I beg you to express to one and all of the ladies, our deep appreciation of their labors of love in upholding my hands, as I have journeyed from one portion of our land to another.
You know fully what has been wrought at Nashotah and at Faribault. You do not require me to narrate to you what great Dioceses have grown up around them as centres of Missionary work. Even the Indian fields retain life in them. And now upon this vast Coast the work has begun, and you have followed us hither. And it will be a great source of rejoicing to know that you have not followed us hither in vain. You helped us to come here, and you have taken part with us in laying these foundations", which are so full of promise for their superstructure. Tell the ladies that we have here sixty acres of land, forming a most valuable and beautiful location, with mountain and water scenery, with sailing-vessels, and the great steamboats for the interior, passing in full sight. Better than all this, we have here a school with upwards of eighty boarders, including Divinity students, besides day-pupils, making a school of 100 boys. And all this in two years' time since we opened.
You will be glad, I know, that we have paid on the $3,000 (second payment for this property) $2,200 and we trust that the Easter offering will bring it up to the full amount required.
(March 28th, 1870, St. Augustine's College, Benicia.--To ------)
..... When this work is put upon a safe footing, then I intend to work for the Young Ladies' Seminary--a Church School for the Diocese. This latter, once begun, will be a success greater even than out Boys' School. In this we have eighty-five boarders beside fifteen day scholars, making a school of one hundred boys at the end of two years! And all these are under admirable Church training, so that the Diocese will not only be supplied with a well-educated and Churchly body of clergy in due time, but with intelligent laymen for all parts of this Coast. We may reach 200 boys in two years' time from this, provided we can have the building to accommodate them. You would be delighted to witness our daily chapel service--the hearty responses,--the animated singing, led by the boy choir,--our weekly communion, and the general Churchly tone of the Institution. Their presence on Sundays in the parish church is beautiful to behold.
There are also in Benicia two female seminaries, one by Benedictine Nuns, and the other by Congregationalists. Each has about 100 pupils. About twenty of the latter school attend the parish church on Sunday mornings at the request of their parents. We have also a parish school of thirty pupils. I am the rector of this parish, and it is pleasing to know that the church is already crowded, and before long it must be enlarged.
When this Mission took charge here, fifteen or twenty people constituted the congregation. The Sunday-school had about fifteen pupils. It now numbers seventy-four. These are trained in the Church's ways, and will mould the hearts of many parents. We have now completed another church at Martinez, over the Straits, which is very neat and Churchly. We hope soon to build another at a station twenty miles distant. Three weeks ago one was consecrated seven miles from Benicia. This church was some time under the charge of this Mission. On Friday, the Feast of the Annunciation, another of our Divinity students was ordained and goes five hundred miles South for his field of labor--at the most southerly extremity of California. Another, not yet in Orders, has gone North with Bishop Morris. These two came out with our party from the East.
Thus I might go on and tell you of our work for the Pacific Coast; but I wish to add something about my own family. When I came to this Coast, my brother-in-law, Wm. H. Aspinwall, gave me $2,000, half for the Mission, and half for myself. With my portion I bought an unfinished cottage on two lots adjoining this College property. From time to time, from private sources, I have been able to improve the property, and now in January I entered it; so that Mrs. Breck has now a quiet retreat, and I have a pleasant home, so near that I can have my office in the College buildings, and also take general oversight of the school. Our little boys are left in the school for the sake of the discipline, and will, I trust, grow up ornaments to the Church, and one or both will, I think, become clergymen. I have just been bidden by Mrs. Breck, as I write you from our nice little cottage, to invite Mrs. Douglas, yourself and children to visit us this Summer. Can you not come? The journey is rapid, and the wonders along the railway would well repay you the fatigue; whilst here you could rest, and in our humble guest-chambers we could make you all quite comfortable. We should be delighted beyond measure if you would come.
(April 28th, St. Augustine's College.--To his Brother Charles.) My precious Brother: I hardly know whether most to be glad at the receipt of the Easter offering of your good people, or the news of seeing your darling child. But as one has come, viz., $138, and the other is to come, I may well be doubly glad. I have no time at present to write, saving to inform you of the safe receipt of the money. We are all in a hurry to get ready to receive the distinguished visitors, the Rev. Dr. Twing and Associates, and we hope they will be pleased with the work done here. In the mean time make our earnest thanks for the generous offering you have sent us.
(July 19th, San Francisco.--To his Brother Charles.)
.....I wish it was in my power to answer your several queries respecting myself and the Chinese. Indeed, if I could do this, it would be sight only, and no faith at all. As for my support, I suppose I shall be supported so long as I work for the Church. If I should lose faith in the Church as CHRIST'S true Body, and representative on earth, then I know my support would be lost along with it. I have now served CHRIST twenty-nine years in the Missionary field. You know how I came out and how I have lived. And yet I have been provided for, and I see grand results at Nashotah and Faribault, which greatly cheer my heart. I hope to see the same here for this vast Coast. I cannot live here on my child, but will inaugurate other work, in which the Church ought to have the deepest interest, and along with that work and that interest I must be supported.
The great points now to be considered are, schools for the Chinese, another for the Japanese prince's sons, whom I am asked to provide for in the way of a school, though not a charity work; and also a school for the daughters of this land. Do you think we can come to want with such a host of work as all this.? I am satisfied that all will be sent to us to keep us alive and in heart, provided we do our duty. You shall be kept informed of the work as it develops, and thereby you will be enabled to inform your people, until, in person, I come to you in 1872, which (God willing) I intend to do at that time.
I want you to write to your successor at Wilmington and ask his continued interest in us. The ladies' box has just come to hand, and a most admirable one it is. It has enabled me to send off three bundles to three needy clergymen, supply the necessities here, and put a good deal aside for the Girls' School. I have found in the box the purse of dear "Lloyd," and will take care of it as a cherished reminder 'of one gone before. Thank you for this love for me, and accept in return my strong love for you and dear sister Jeannie. I must now close. If your dear child Anna is with you, give her my love, and tell her to let you know how nicely we are getting on in our cottage.
(July 28th, Benicia.--To Miss Edwards.)
You have heard perhaps of the choice our Trustees have made for the Head Master of our Grammar School, the Rev. Win. P. Tucker, late of Maine, an admirable man, Churchman, and scholar. He takes the place of the Rev. Mr. Cowan, who came out with me, being designed for the Missionary field, and who now re-enters it. This appointment will relieve me of a thousand nameless cares, which (as you can fully realize) gather around a school of one hundred boys.
Our three years' pledge is now ended, and we are entering upon a new period of our work. For the interest of yourself, your sisters, and the ladies of the Seabury Society, I will recount a few statistics, even at the risk of having said them to you already in my former letter. In the Missionary field of California, we have traveled over a district of country two hundred miles in length by fifty in breadth, occupying and ministering to seventeen Stations. Three churches have been built. In the Theological School two Deacons and two Priests (four persons) have been ordained. The growth of the Grammar School has been very remarkable. There have been two terms of five months each. The first term had seven boarders only. The second had twenty-seven. The third thirty-five. The fourth seventy-two; and the fifth, lately closed, had eighty-five, besides seventeen day-scholars, making our number over one hundred pupils (all boys) under constant Church training. From out of these will grow the College, and this will furnish the Divinity School with students. We look to the Grammar School and College also for the well-trained laymen of this Coast. This Missionary College is under a responsible Board of Trustees, which hold a property of sixty acres, lying round about the building. The value of the land and improvements is estimated at $40,000.
My duty will now be simply to inspect the Schools. During the out-growth of the College and Divinity School, I intend giving my attention to founding the Department (which will be a School of itself, occupying its own location) for educating the daughters of this land. And in this all-important work, I hope to have the continued co-operation of my dear friends and brethren of the Atlantic States. The people of this Coast have been utterly neglected as regards training to do for any object aside from the mere parish. Our property here is the only such Church possession, aside from parishes, in California. They require to be instructed in the Church before much co-operation can be expected of them. When the School is opened, they will patronize it; but prior to this, they are content with convents and worldly schools. The School for girls promises to become a great success, as great as our Boys' School has been. And its mighty influence, through the future mothers of this land, who can compute?
You see I do not intend to let you and the dear Seaburys stand idle. I wish your interest in planting this School. I ask you to help me to the utmost of your power. Already I have two ladies at work. I have placed them in the Parsonage, and a hall near by is their school-room for day-scholars. They have had thirty (including some little boys), and in a few days they expect two young lady boarders. They can accommodate but five. We must have land, and we must have buildings. We are willing to work and wait.
(August 10th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles.)
My very dear Brother: Your letter of the 1st inst. has come to hand, and as you and yours talked about the contingency of reaching Faribault if your money held out, I had to laugh heartily over it. Why, I expect (my wife with me) to visit there and Cleveland too, in 1872, poor as I am. Had I taken seven years to work up this School, then it would have been called "stability," but doing it up in three, it is the opposite. Now do you, my dear brother, think I wish to take care of an hundred boys? Do you wish me to go right down into my grave? Well, you may be sure the discipline necessary for an hundred California boys would do it. I am (for the comfort of my friends) inspector-general of this School, looking after its interests, and reporting anything at fault to the Head-master.
To-day I have attended four recitations, have visited the infirmary, attended the Chapel services, &c. To-morrow I go to the St. Mary's School, where we have forty pupils. I have service with them, and attend some recitations. To-night I intend going over the way to see about the location for the Japanese boys. And what more would you have me to do? Yesterday I was twenty miles away with our cousin Samuel Breck, taking steps about building a church. But enough of this rambling.
I am now intending, with my pen influence, to raise five thousand dollars for a building for St. Mary's School, which I hope to erect next Spring. Let me have your interest for it as largely as you can consistently give it. With my sincere love to your beloved wife, and that wonderful daughter, the pride of us all, I am, &c.
(September 15th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles.)
My precious Brother and Rev. Doctor Breck: Hurrah! for a pioneer Eastern Rector! It is pleasant to think that a venerable Doctor of Divinity has penetrated into the frontier wilderness as far as railroads go; and that he would have gone farther, did they go farther. And above all, that he has actually returned home safe, with scalp, limbs, and without accident! I am rejoiced that we can now talk together in common of the Church's vanguard. I shall now have hopes of seeing you here. My wife is quite confident that you will come. Nothing would afford us so real pleasure as a visit from you and dear Sister Jeannie. When shall it be? I am intending to visit you in 1872.
Mr. Russell, at Sauk Rapids, was there in 1850, and the first service held and the first sermon ever preached there (of any sort) was by our Mission. [The Mr. R. spoken of, told his brother that he well remembered Dr. Breck. He could see him, as of old, passing his house with knapsack on his back, pushing Northward through snow a foot deep.] At that time there was not a white settler West of the Mississippi, along the whole extent of Minnesota. Where Minneapolis stands, there was one deserted cabin! The smoke of the wigwam was seen rising in the woods opposite St. Paul, and the Red Man's face in its streets was as familiar as that of the White settler.
We are greatly encouraged by the progress of our "St. Mary of the Pacific." The first boarder is a daughter of the sister of Mrs. McMasters of St. Paul. She has been admirably brought up by her devoted mother. I have a class preparing for Confirmation; it is made up of young ladies from the Congregational Seminary--a boarding-school of 100 pupils. In our day-school I have a Churchly service. Whole families of children are given me to instruct. Six out of a family of eight attend me once a week; the other two are too young. Two of the second family have commenced attending Sunday-school.
I have the refusal of a brick building which I can rent at $20 per month, if required for the boarding-school, where we can accommodate ten or twelve young ladies. Then, in the Spring, if I can get the $5,000, I will erect the wing of a building in which to receive twenty-five boarders, and thus make a beginning. Friends have already helped me to furnish the parsonage, where the beginning is being made, and all looks neat and inviting. I need not now say that I wish you to make this new effort a specialty with your people during the coming Winter. No Missionary work for this Coast is more demanded than such a nursery of the future mothers of the land.
(December 1st, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles)
.....I am still pursuing the next object before me, the founding the St. Mary of the Pacific. You have received from me a Pacific Churchman, containing the three years' work of the Associate Mission, and to show you the zeal now conducting the Grammar-school, I send you an editorial in one of our San Francisco papers, on occasion of a visit of our Cadets to the city, by invitation, for Thanksgiving day. The programme was gotten up in regular California style, and hence the theatre at its close. Every paper honored our boys with complimentary notices.
I am writing to all my friends asking offerings, by Christmas or Easter, for the first section of a building to cost five thousand dollars. I expect to be refused by some; but from others I hope to receive as much again, thereby making up for the loss.
The church in Benicia is in my charge as Rector, and owns almost a block of land lying around it, well and centrally located. This has already a parsonage built on it, which is at my disposal. On this land, having proper papers from the vestry to secure me in building, I expect to erect the school building. The proximity to the neat and beautiful church will be of advantage, too. Moreover, since we have been in Benicia the Presbyterians have closed up "their church" boarding up its windows, &c., and many of its people are now coming to the Church. This week, the prominent Presbyterian layman (who, with the former pastor, owns the edifice) asked me if I would not like to have the building for our Girls' School. It is a very Churchly building, shipped here from the East some years ago, but in good preservation, with bell, &c. We could make capital use of the same, by removing it less than two blocks, to the church lot;--but more of this hereafter. The old Presbyterian parson may refuse to convey it.
Could you not get up a little enthusiasm for me on the foregoing subject? Next year is the thirtieth of the Organization of Associate Missions (as inaugurated at Nashotah) in the American Church, and could not an interest be awakened by making "St. Mary of the Pacific" a sort of Memorial of Associate Missions? You may not be in the position to do it, but you may, through others, bring it about.
(January 18th, Benicia.--To Wm. B. Douglas, Esq.)
.....I was glad to hear that you had taken rest in the mountains of New York. Would that you were nearer to us here to visit the wonders of Yosemite, the Geysers, and other astonishing natural phenomena of this Pacific Coast. You would enjoy all so much, and from your heart bless the Great Creator of the earth, and the fullness thereof. I trust the health of Mrs. D. is not suffering from the cold of the Winter. Often my mind recurs to my friends who appear to need just such a climate as we have here. The bright mild suns of the rainy season are peculiarly grateful to us. All nature is now putting on her most beautiful garb. How cheering to your dear wife would be the fragrant roses, which we gather from out of doors, through all this our Winter.
Lately I have bought the site for "St. Mary of the Pacific," and now we are preparing to put out trees and shrubbery to adorn it. I am not separated from our Boys' School; but we have a Rector for it, who is admirably adapted to its wants. As Vice-President (the Bishop being President) of the Board of Trustees, and Inspector of the Institution, I am about the College to call the attention of the Rector to anything which needs looking after. I am daily with the boys in their chapel exercises, and on Sunday mornings they attend in a body the services of St. Paul's Church, Benicia, where I am Rector. I state these things in order to relieve your mind from the impression that I have no longer any personal connection with the College. I am also Dean of the Missionary College for Divinity students.
But aside from the above duties, I am now mainly interested in founding a Female Boarding School for the Church of California. The Church people of this coast are content with convents, &c., until the Church school is opened, and then they will patronize it. We have commenced the school in a rented building, which will publish us sufficiently to fill perhaps such a building as we may be able to put up in the Spring. My purpose is to procure a draft of a complete school, which, when finished, will accommodate two hundred pupils. The plan will have eight sections, and only the first, to admit twenty-five boarders, is intended to be built this year, and to cost five thousand dollars. It is not intended to put it under a Board of Trustees until it has become well organized and constituted. I will keep you informed of our progress in this and all other matters connected with our work.....
This is the thirtieth year since the first organization of Associate Missions in the American Church. I scarcely feel any older than I did, when at Nashotah I helped to plant that School of the Prophets. Perhaps this effort at Benicia will be the last of the series which shall be permitted me to found.
(March 24th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles.) ... I am going forward with this educational work as rapidly as possible. The beautiful block of land for the school is admired by every one who sees it. The location is the best possible for the object designed. It was already fenced when bought, but was without any improvements.
I have since been gaining a year by planting out trees to the number of four hundred. One hundred and five of them are the sweet almond (these bloom at the end of January or February) which I raised from California seed, planted two years ago. Little did I then think what they were in part for. As many more remain to ornament the grounds of St. Augustine's. The other trees are three varieties of pine, and an Australian tree of great height when full grown, and the beautiful pepper-tree--thirty of each of these five varieties. I have then five kinds of deciduous trees, part in the street, protected by boxes, for the sidewalk, along one side for 600 feet. Then come the fruit trees of several varieties; and lastly the grape cuttings are for raisins chiefly. The above have been put out at some labor and expense, but will add vastly to the appearance of the buildings to be erected, and be the gain of a whole year, which in California is of much moment.
The school occupies, as I have told you before, a rented building. We have four boarders and about twelve day scholars, and others are expected to enter on the first of the month. Thus a school is also inaugurated ready to enter such a building as we may be ready to put up. What the building is to be, and all about it, I will discourse further in my next letter. The College is doing admirably, and proving itself to be a good success. From communications made me I have reason to know that there are legacies in store for it.
I wish dear Sister Jeannie could sit where I am, and look out upon the amazingly rich prospect before me. Such wonderful green, such variety of blossoms, flowers, wild and cultivated! I hope yet to see you and yours here to enjoy for a season the wonders of this wonderful land.
(April, St. Augustine's College, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles)
My precious Brother:.....Your good people's generous offering of $141.50 has delighted me, and greatly encouraged my heart. The same mail brought other offerings. This leads me to think that the coming week will authorize my making the contract for the working section of the building, which will enable us to enter with the school in August. The wood-cut shall be sent to you as soon as it is executed. We are still in the rented house, where we have six boarders and ten day scholars. Two more boarders are expected this week from Boise City, Idaho. This early effort gives us the advantage of a year's start in the work. We have an admirably qualified lady to be in charge of the pupils, who comes to us in July; so that in all things we look for blessed results. The clergy here wish to send me as delegate to the General Convention, but it is one year earlier than agrees with my plans for Church work.
(May 11th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles)
..... I had not intended visiting the East before 1872, the fifth year of my Missionary work on this Coast; but, against my express desire to the contrary, I have been chosen a Deputy to the General Convention, and, receiving it as the will of Providence, I intend to go to it. Dr. Lyman, the Rev. Mr. Akerly and Dr. Brotherton are the other Clerical Delegates. It will be the first General Convention that I have ever had time to attend. By appointment of the Bishop, I preached the Convention sermon--subject Discipline,--and, to my astonishment, it gave so great satisfaction, that the Convention unanimously voted its publication along with the Journal of the Convention. Also the Convention voted a committee of three clergymen and three laymen to consider the subject of the sermon, with a view to some incorporation of its views in the Canons of the Diocese. The Convention also took the onward step in dividing the Diocese into three jurisdictions--South, North, and Middle, with Churchly terms, I hope, for their respective Sees. And a committee memorializes the General Convention to make the North and South Missionary jurisdictions, so as to have them occupied at once as complete organizations.
The Providence in my appointment as Deputy I largely consider as bearing on my Missionary work here, which will require my zealous efforts to obtain funds to meet my new ventures here for CHRIST and His Church. I have now contracted for 'the school building in the sum of $5,500, to be in readiness August 1st. The prospects are very bright, that it will be filled with pupils at once.
My plan is to visit, on my route, the Indian Missions, Faribault, and Nashotah, thereby making the chain of my thirty years' foundation work for the Church complete. You will decide, my dearest brother, whether I shall take in Cleveland on the route East. I do not intend returning to California before January, just after the Epiphany. And by that time, I shall be so anxious to get back, that it will be best for me to go directly through;--also in order to be present at the opening of the Winter School Term, January 18th. You are the rightful judge whether your people can stand a personal appeal, so soon after the generous offering which you have sent for them.
(May 23d, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles)
.....I have written to you on the subject of our late Convention, and my going to the General Convention in October. I hope to meet you there; if not, I will come to you for a Sunday, en route to the Pacific, which, according to my present plans, will be immediately after Epiphany. I wish to spend this Feast day at the Church of the Holy Communion, New York. It was there this Mission was organized by Bishop Southgate and others. I ought to be back here at the opening of the schools, January 19th. Between General Convention and Epiphany, I must work for St. Mary's building. It is true, I have been writing for it, and my writing has enabled us to begin; but a visit, such as this, will be necessary to complete the work. I hope when I come to you, I shall meet your dear children, and find Sister Jeannie in good health. Give her my love, and if you think well of it, promise your dear Sunday-school children and people a visit at the time specified.
And now a few words about Enmegabowh. Soon after we (Associate Mission) ascended the Mississippi River in May, 1850, and built our little frame house at St. Paul (which you saw), and when, during the building of it, we camped out for a month, word was brought to us from the Chaplain at Fort Snelling, that an Indian of the Chippeway race had been there at the Indian payment, and had conversed with him on the subject of a Missionary for his people. Enmegahbowh was of the Canadian stock, and had been sent to the States to an English School at about thirteen years of age. He was at this time a Grand Medicine boy, or a pagan. He was naturally of a strong religious turn of mind, and soon became interested on the subject of Christianity, and was brought under the influence of the Methodists.
Upon coming into Minnesota, he found his tribe living at the head-waters of the Mississippi River. He tried to Christianize them; but the exciting ways of the Methodists did not suit them, and but little progress was made; the rather discouragement stood in his way at every turn, when Divine Providence put into his hands the Prayer Book. At once his heart was lifted up, and he said: "Here is the Religion for my people." It was the Rev. Dr. Gear, Chaplain at Fort Snelling, who gave him the Prayer Book.
About this time we came into Minnesota and our hearts were moved to preach the Gospel to the real Gentile, and soon we had an interview with Enmegahbowh. He was living in a wigwam, having a wife and, I think, three children. I found in him a reliable interpreter. Soon I procured from the English Mission to the Ojibwas on the Manitouline Island the Prayer Book in the tongue of this people. This was a vast help; and now, with an interpreter and an Indian Prayer Book, we began our Mission to the Chippeways. We camped out in the Indian wigwam village three months, until we built a log Mission-house.
Enmegahbowh now conceived the idea of building a house for himself and family. Thus he began civilization along with Christianity, and his consistent Christian life quickly gained the confidence of White Man of the border and Red Man of the woods. He became the other self of the Missionary, owing to the fact that all the religious instructions given to the Indian had to pass through him. Thereby, in the course of five years, he knew all the Theology necessary for Salvation, and could readily impart it to the Indian. At the same time I began with him a regular course of Theological reading, and he statedly recited to me.
In due progress of time, he was ordained to the Diaconate. After filling this degree well for several years, it was thought good by Bishop Whipple to give him Priest's Orders. He has failed to find a White Missionary for his people, and hence he alone for some years has occupied the Ojibwa field, greatly to his credit, as a lone Christian Missionary, and mighty in the power of the Gospel over his people. The rest you, dear brother, know from him.
You ask me to tell you who has the fullest account of my work, given in letters? Since the burning of all my letters in the Mission House at Faribault, it is very difficult for me to tell. The two ladies you name have always had letters from me. But who would be likely to keep my letters, I know not, and to whom to refer you I do not know. Perhaps, by reflection, I can come to some knowledge about it that may serve your purpose. We are progressing satisfactorily with our building, and I hope in a month's time to send you a wood-cut of it.
(July 19th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles)
...... I am thankful that you have been to Minnesota, and that Minnesota has seen and heard you. How dear sister must have enjoyed the trip. According to the arrangements I fear I am not to see your dear Samuel. A letter just received from Dr. Cole invites me to preach the opening sermon of next Annual Term, viz., September 29th, the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels. After some deliberations as to making appointments connect, I have concluded to accept the invitation. It will be a pleasing event, commemorating its thirtieth anniversary. I will write to Hobart to join us there, thereby making the original three,--a rare meeting in this changing world.
To accomplish this I find it necessary to make some backtracks, and I tell you them now, that you may know where I am when on your side of the mountains. I intend (D. v.) to reach Faribault for September 17111 (Sunday)--possibly visit Enmegahbowh during said week--reach Detroit September 24th (Sunday) with Pitkin, &c. Tuesday, take back-track to Grand Rapids for that night. Wednesday, Milwaukee. Friday, Nashotah. Sunday, October ist, Erie, with the Rev. Mr. Spalding. Thence directly through to Baltimore by Tuesday night. Now I do not know Mr. Spalding, and I desire you to write him a commendatory letter, and tell him what I am doing, and that I am visiting the General Convention, but my real motive is to raise ten thousand dollars for the Church of the Pacific. I am sorry that I shall pass you by in this sort of manner, but be assured that, on my return route, I shall give you (and your good people) a call, and to the latter a loud call. Especially will this be needed after Bishop Morris has told his northern story, which, in his eyes, I know, is the entire of this Coast. I wish to return here by the loth of January, so that you must look out for me about Christmas.
(August 15th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles.,)
Yours of the 24th ult. has come to hand, and I thank you for its news. I enclose Spalding's reply, to acquaint you with him. I have accepted his terms, and told him I would tell him and his congregation, when I got there, why I thought of coming to Erie. I will (D. v.) visit Toledo on my return Pacificward, about Christmastide, if all goes well with my appeal to the churches....... I shall visit Racine, if Dr. DeKoven will give me a hearing and response from those two hundred boys. Mr. Aertsen sends his only son to Racine in September, and others are there whom I ought to see, but especially your son Samuel, I must gather everywhere if I am to succeed. I send you enclosed the Pacific Churchman, with statement of our opening and reception at St. Mary's. My appeal is for a Divinity Hall, as well as for the completion of "St. Mary of the Pacific." I shall keep you posted on the subject of all my movements.
(September 19th.--To his Brother Charles)
Your two letters have reached me at Faribault, where we arrived in good health on the 13th inst., the very day we had decided on before leaving Benicia. Many of my former spiritual charge were at the station to greet us. It was repeated the next evening at a parishioner's house, where we were entertained. Had you witnessed the crowd there, you would have been well satisfied that your brother still lived in the hearts of these people. The distinguishing feature of all was, the majority present were of the humblest classes of citizens. They brought refreshments with them, and all partook of an evening's repast. I have been received by the Bishop and Clergy with welcomes of the most satisfactory character, which, I am sure my dearest brother Charles would have pronounced, could not have been exceeded in kindness, and in acknowledgments of all I had done for them in the past years.
During this visit I have addressed the Shattuck Grammar School, St. Mary's School, on Sunday the Sunday School, preached in the morning, and delivered a Missionary address at night. The Cathedral was crowded on both occasions to its utmost capacity, and the offerings for my work amounted to $125. Besides, the Sunday School promised for our Girls' School Chapel a Lectern, Bible, and Prayer Book by Christmas; and St. Mary's Hall here gives us an Altar. Last night (Monday) I lectured at this place (Minneapolis), and to-night I am at St. Paul's for another Missionary meeting. To-morrow I return to Faribault, and we leave on the 10 p. M. train for Oconomowoc. I leave Mrs. B. there while I go to Detroit for next Sunday.
(September 27th, Milwaukee.--To Miss Edwards.) Your welcome at Faribault was gratefully received, and I wish there had been the opportunity afforded me there for replying to it. Had you been at Faribault at the time of our visit, you would have been delighted beyond measure at the expressions of the people there in meeting their old pastor again. Indeed, from the Bishop down to the humblest layman, there was exhibited a delight which quite astonished me. But no wonder, when I had baptized four hundred there (of whom one hundred were adults), and gathered from three communicants to two hundred and twenty-five. The work has beautifully developed itself, and the buildings as they now stand have cost $150.000......
(October 3.)--Since writing the above, I have been very ill, and am still confined to my room; but, thariks to the mercy of GOD, I am spared the grave, to work, 1 trust, a little longer for the Church we so dearly love, and also to perfect my own Christian character. I could only send my sermon to Nashotah to be read on St. Michael's day to the students at their opening,--not unconscious of my danger, and that my body might in a day or two follow on, to be laid away for the judgment in that consecrated graveyard, which I had laid out there, and caused to be publicly consecrated by Bishop Kemper. But I am better now, and am cared for by Dr. Keene at his Rectory. Dr. K. was one of our first candidates at Nashotah, and was under my care for six years. He appears glad to make me this return. Mrs. B. is also now with me, and will accompany me to Baltimore, and remain there until I am restored to my visual strength. My brothers, Samuel and Charles (from Cleveland), have also been with me.......
(November 17th, New York.--To his Brother Charles)
My precious Brother: I have been intending to write you my very grateful thanks for all your delightful attentions to me during my illness, and throughout my illness. Be assured my heart has gone out in love and admiration for you, such as was-not before experienced by me; and no wonder, for not since we were boys have we been so long time together.
I have now heard from the Rev. Mr. Davis, and he kindly consents to my coming to his parish for Sunday, December loth, so that you may count on my being with you for the i3th, which is a very pleasant anticipation for me, and also for the Christmas Festival. I shall rejoice if my way is clear for going home immediately afterwards, but it looks very dark at present.
Last week I delivered eleven addresses. Only three collections were made, amounting to less than $150. What the future responses may reveal, I do not know. This week I have made seven Missionary appeals. The results are unknown to me, beyond $14.14. Two of the addresses were made at New Milford. Our friend there says she could not give on Sunday morning next-as much as she could wish, and will send me her contribution in the Spring. I shall be under the necessity of writing (as Bishop Whipple suggested) to certain individuals, and in brief telling them my story and my wants. If you can suggest any names to me, I will be thankful for it. Unless I remain over my time, it will be out of my power to go again to Baltimore.
(December 4th, New York.--To his Brother Charles.)
...... If my appointments are agreed to, I will reach you from Pittsburgh on Wednesday the 13th inst. I am invited to Erie for the night of the 15th. I hope to be in Buffalo the following Sunday, but am waiting to hear. Thus far I have raised (aside from Edgar Howland's $300) only a little upwards of $1,500. I am now in hopes of another plan, viz., securing a loan of $5,000 from five persons (each $1,000) for three years without interest. Brother Wm. H. Aspinwall approves of it, and I have one gentleman at Rochester, N. Y., Wm. B. Douglas, Esq., who has already taken stock in this investment. Could you not secure me one other in Cleveland?......
(December 27th, R. R. to Cincinnati.--To his Brother Charles)
...... As you casually remarked, it has been a singular Providence by which we have been brought so much and so closely together this year. First, my illness, when you were so kind as to come to me and devote yourself so industriously to my necessities. Next, the General Convention; and then the deeply interesting marriage service of your singularly loved daughter; and to wind up all in one loving close, the Christmas and Eucharistic Services. We can hardly ever again hope for such another season of reunion. For all that I have experienced at your own and dear sister's hands, I can only say, I love you both for it, with emotions of heart and mind such as would always fail me in attempting to give utterance to them, but they are living and abiding ones in my own breast. Thank you both for all your loving ways and loving interest in my dear wife, in myself and my work. Such kindnesses are not lost on a frontier Missionary, for in the midst of his foundation labors, his thoughts travel away to scenes of holy joy, such as I have now just left,--alas, for how long? Perhaps forever.....
(December 27th, St. Louis.--To his Brother Charles.) We are now all safely together in St. Louis, and we leave at 8:25 in the morning (Friday), due at Denver, Sunday at 7 A. M. I have only one check with me, and its description is as follows: "No. 329, New York Mercantile National Bank, January 10th, 1872," payable to my order for $230, drawn by Wm. B. Douglas, Rochester, N. Y. So that if any accident happens to me, you will please write to Mr. Douglas for a duplicate. I have about $100 in currency with me. You will be pleased to know that Mr. Anderson of Cincinnati paid my fare to St. Louis, and gave me $100. I was much pleased with my visit there......
My friend, Mr. Douglas, gave me $150,--the same gentleman who will loan me $1,000 without interest for three years. Mrs. Douglas gave me $25.
(Sunday Morning, 8.30 o'clock, Denver.--To his Brother Charles.)
...... You will be pleased to hear of our safe arrival at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, this morning, on time, though the first through for several days, yesterday being the first train from the West, which we met at 9 o'clock last night. My dear wife and her niece have gone on fifty miles to Greeley, where they have relatives, intending to join me in the morning on the way to Cheyenne. The Bishop has not yet returned. I preached to his See congregation this morning, and am invited to do so again to-night. I visited the School for young ladies this afternoon.
The snow-capped mountains glitter in the sunshine, at the near distance of fifteen miles. I hear the road is still blockaded west of Cheyenne; but we may be fortunate enough to find it opened by the time we get there. The huge snow-plow (twelve feet high) driven by three engines on the road we have just crossed, jumped the track three days ago, when I think sixty passengers only escaped as by a miracle. Give us your prayers that we may reach the Coast in safety, and find our dear sons well.
(January8th, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles.) I know you will be looking for tidings of our safe arrival at Benicia. We have reached home only to-night (rr o'clock), owing to a detention on account of snow for four days at Cheyenne, one hundred miles from Denver, where I passed Sunday. We were three entire days in our section of the sleeping-car, without moving a rod. The first of the four days was spent in an unfurnished parsonage. You may imagine how three of us could be entertained, where the Missionary and wife had but one bed in the house. And yet we were compelled to ask him to let us stay until the Omaha train should arrive, for the only hotel in the place had been burned to the ground a few days before.
After leaving Cheyenne we ascended the mountains without difficulty. But we met travelers, who had been detained sixteen days on the road. We have been to-day in every climate; snows deep on the tops of the bold Sierras; under snow-sheds for forty miles; the wildest of snow mountain scenery, with a driving snow-storm; and within three hours amid grass and cultivated gardens. But oh! how it has been, and is, and will be raining! We reach home nearly midnight. If my telegram goes safely, our horse and rockaway will be at the wharf-for us. We are now on the steamboat from Sacramento.
(Tuesday.)--All home in safety, thanks be to GOD. All well here, and glad enough to see us. Your letter forwarded from Germantown had $93.33.
(February 9th, On Steamboat.--To his Brother Charles.)
...... Yours of New Year's Day has been in hand a good while. It slipped through the mountains at almost the only favorable time this winter. When this can reach you I know not. I wish nevertheless to write you a few lines about our well-being and work here.
I am now fairly at work again in the parish, where our schools make up an important element of the congregation. St. Augustine's has opened, as usual, with a good set of boys, between eighty and ninety in number, including a few day-scholars; while "St. Mary's of the Pacific" has fifteen boarders and about the same number of day-pupils. The boarders with one exception are quite young ladies, and all of them intend to be good Churchwomen. Four are already communicants, and all will be in time, I do not doubt. There is no more important Missionary work than this School. Think of the Church heads of families, which will go forth from us here in even ten years. Our present building provides for so many things, such as school-room, dining-room, kitchen, and servants' rooms, bathrooms, &c., that little remains for the accommodation of four teachers and pupils. We have room for only seventeen boarding scholars, so that we are about full, and it will be deplorable if we cannot build the front section this Spring. If it is put up, we can accommodate boarders. Now this new section will cost $6,000, and how can I get such a sum! I intend to write fully and freely to Miss Cornelia Boardman, and through her to your Mr. William Boardman of Cleveland, to provide by gift or loan this sum, or at least $5,000. How can they make a better investment? Oh! that I may succeed! What a glorious work will it open for the Church of the Pacific!
Again, I have a letter from Dr. Drumm respecting his library and our purchase of it. We ought to have it. He proposes to sell it for one dollar per volume right through for all useful books,--one-half payment down, one-half in one or two years. I have written, asking him to tell me the full amount, and then I will have a basis upon which to appeal for it. What would you think of inviting him (Drumm) to join us for the Divinity School? Would he not make a valuable Professor? The climate here would suit him, I am sure. Of course, many things, such as salary, &c., are to be considered and secured in advance of his coming.
Within the week, two valuable men have spoken to me about the Ministry. I hope to interest a party to build a Hall for Divinity Students. I tell you these things, as I would not speak of them to others. Pardon my penciling; I am aboard a steamboat. Our boys are well, and I hope doing well....... You and dearest sister have great reason to have joy in your lovely children. I hear from others (one a fellow-traveler over the mountains, who knows your son-in-law, and who speaks very highly of him). Mrs. Tyler sent me here $100. Was not this most kind in her?
(March 4th, on board Steamboat San Francisco to Benicia.--To Master Samuel Breck, Racine College.)
...... Your well-written letter of the 16th ult. has come to hand, and I am replying to it from aboard a steamer from San Francisco to Benicia, thirty miles distant. We were detained four days by the snows on the mountains. But your father's friend, Bishop Morris, was detained three weeks. He arrived a few days since, and came up to see us. It was very kind in him to come up to Benicia. He attended the Chapel Services at St. Augustine's with the boys, then at St. Mary's with the young ladies, and then at St. Paul's Parish Church in the village. So you see we keep Lent here as well as do you at Racine. You delighted me much, when I learned of your confirmation and your faithful attendance upon the Holy Communion. We too have the weekly Communion. Our Chapel Services are very attractive, and are calculated to make the pupils most devoted Churchmen, when they shall go forth into the world.
You know we have no very cold weather here. In January we came down from the Sierra Mountains, where was deep snow, in two hours' time, to beautiful green grass and gardens under cultivation. Our boys have no skating and no sledding here. But they have swimming in salt water. Your cousins, Muhlenberg and Charlie, are very well, and I shall ask Muhlenberg to write to you. He is fond of writing letters, and I hope you will answer his letters. They are, I hope, good boys...... Remember me in kind regards to Dr. De Koven, and to all the friends whom I may know......
(April 26th, Benicia.--To Miss Edwards)
Your good letter, valuable as well as good, dated the 4th inst., came duly to hand. Accept of my sincerest heartfelt thanks for the same. Its contents pass directly into the Treasury of the LORD, for the upbuilding of His Kingdom for the little ones of this land. You can never hear of their mighty results until the Judgment Day. Would that a few others might follow your noble example, and lay down here five or six thousand dollars, to put this Church School for the daughters of the land upon a permanent basis. It remains yet to be seen what will be done by our friends North of you. You shall know in due season.
The statement you make regarding the rich men who have lately died in New Haven is very fearful, and it is too true over the length and breadth of this land. But the fault lies deeper than what you name. Have you ever heard a clergyman open up the subject of wills with his people, and instruct them in the duty-of giving back to the LORD some memorial of His goodness to them while they were living?
(May 30th.)--What shall I say in explanation of this long silence? Supposing that this letter had gone, I gave no more thought to it until by the merest accident I found it in a book I had been reading! I am so sorry for this mistake, because you will be uneasy as to the contents of your letter, and it seems so ungrateful in your brother, when you had done so great things for his work. I hasten to send this to you, and beg you to expect another letter before long.
We have just closed our School, and I am delighted with the results, in all particulars of a sound education. Our Vice-Principal is a noble woman, and one of the finest possible educators, both of the heart and the mind. Of the sixteen boarders, thirteen are communicants. The other three are too young for Confirmation.
We are now building on the front, which will enable us to accommodate fifty young ladies as boarders. I shall after two weeks have some relaxation. Next week is the examination of the pupils of St. Augustine's College. And the week after is the first meeting of the Northern Convocation, which is to be held at Benicia. By that time I hope to have the leisure to address the Ladies of the Seabury Society a proper letter in acknowledgment of the much they have done for us.
(June 26th, Benicia, California.--To Mrs. Douglas.).... While in this delightful, school, I have not only watched over what we have, but, being full to our capacity, I have been taxed to the utmost to see my way clearly to make an advance movement. And I have succeeded. The good hand of the LORD has been with me in ways I could not have conceived possible six months ago. Our beautiful building is to be completed by August 1st. I will tell you of some of the ways whereby it is to be done. You know your husband's loan to me, which, along with others, has enabled me to meet my venture of last year. Since then Miss Boardman, of New Milford, Connecticut, has interested her family to give me $2,000, and loan me $4,000 (without interest) for three or five years, to erect the front building. The Misses Edwards have given to the same cause $1,000, and gentlemen (not Churchmen) in San Francisco have given me $1,250 (in gold) and something additional will be given by Churchmen. So that the way has been wondrously opened to me to provide increased quarters for pupils. We had sixteen boarders, all which, save three quite young girls, were communicants at the close of the term. The new term opens July 25th, when we look for double the number of boarders within the first month. No instrumentality within the Church can exceed in importance this school for building up a new Diocese.
(July 18th, Benicia.--To Miss Edwards.)
Will you pardon me for writing you with pencil, instead of pen and ink? I am on board a steamboat, going to San Francisco on business of the Mission and its schools. Your last three letters (the latest April 4th) have gone many journeys with me, and again to-day have been re-read by me. I shall now answer them finally, in the hope of having a new supply very soon.
Good Sister Mary's letter has come to hand, and I thank her for it. It is a sad view of the subject, that among our many women there are so few to be had for this highest of Church work. I have been compelled in two instances to go outside of the Church to get teachers for Church girls! It was not a teacher that we wanted, but a head; or one that could be a head in case our head failed in her health. So that Miss Gibson would not, most probably, be suitable for so important a situation. I am thankful to say the health of Miss Hatch is apparently greatly improving under judicious treatment for her nervous system. If God gives her health, she will raise up a school for this Coast, which will be second in discipline and fine mental culture to none in the country.
You will be glad to know of the kind Providence, which has raised up friends to aid us. The last term every available bed (sixteen in all) was filled by pupils--beside teachers: and yet our teachers could care for many more as boarders. We had upwards of twenty day-scholars.
You have asked me about Miss Boardman. I am glad to say she has been very kind to me (this is private to you); she first gave me one thousand dollars, then loaned me two thousand (without interest) for five years. Her two nieces--Mrs. Tyler and Mrs. Wright--gave each five hundred. One nephew, Wm. J. Boardman, of Cleveland, loaned (same as above) fifteen hundred, and gave the other five hundred, making six thousand in all. This in gold would be five thousand and three hundred. A friend in San Francisco volunteered to raise me $1,250 from five men (not Churchmen), in gold. Now with these several amounts, I have contracted for the completion of "St. Mary of the Pacific" in the sum of $7,190; but this does not include painting, plumbing, furnace and the furniture--which will be at least $2,500. The building is now rapidly approaching towards completion. We open on Thursday of next week. What the day may bring forth we do not know, but we think our boarders will be doubled within the first month of the term. This will be increase enough for Discipline, especially the religious and spiritual. Last term, of the sixteen boarders, thirteen were communicants at the close of the school year. The other three were Church girls, too young for confirmation. The clay-scholars were of like character, though more of them, proportionally, were too young for the renewal of their Baptismal vows. What an instrument for Church good (under Divine grace) may these instructed young people become for the rising generation and for all time to come!
Pardon my writing you so much about our peculiar work. It is now reaching such proportions as may well gratify all our many dear friends who have aided us. The enclosed picture is no longer a fiction. It is to be completed by the close of the present month. Only think how grand we shall be with such a building, compared with my many previous beginnings! Had we come to this Coast ten years prior to 1867, we could have begun in cabins as heretofore; but after the long neglect of this Coast by the Church, and people already living in large houses, with all the comforts of the East, we might have been content with wigwams or tents, as in days of yore, but no father or mother here would have entrusted son or daughter to us. But now we look as well as any of the school-buildings of this Coast, and the people look upon us now as somebody. I am glad for the sake of the Church of the future, within this Coast of mighty interests.
This school, when once established, with buildings for 100 pupils (boarders), will, we trust, largely support a Divinity-school. This must be my next endeavor for this Coast. I mean a building with professors 4or the training of young men for the ministry. The Grammar School of St. Augustine and the Missionary field, have thus far supplied the Theological Department, and as a training-school for boys we must not regret it. I hope yet to interest Miss Eliza Hall in the building. Pray for us, that we may succeed.
You will be glad to know that your beneficiary here has graduated from the Grammar-school with honor, and can now enter the Sophomore class in any of our colleges. What will be his exact course I am not yet fully informed.
(November 7th, Benicia.--To Miss Edwards)
I dare not quote your last letter to me, for fear of exposing myself. The truth is, I have been so driven with work that my friends must take on credit all that we have been doing here for the past six months. It has been with us a very remarkable period of outgrowth. We have laid foundations for a Church Female Boarding School, that is already becoming a power in this land. I mean that it is attracting the attention of the best families of our State, and already we hear of enough pupils to enter here the January term, to fill every vacancy we shall have. Our present number is upwards of thirty boarders and full thirty day-scholars. Of the former more than half are communicants of the Church. How Sister Mary and all of you would rejoice to be with us at one of our early Sunday morning Communions! We have a full corps of teachers, though not every one such as we would have for permanent use.
Now you may wonder somewhat at this extraordinary growth, and so do we; but it has not been growth without some ventures. Our best friend on this Coast has met with some reverses, and I am in consequence thrown back on my former resources (my Eastern friends), and I am compelled to ask of them, in the course of this winter, for $3,000. This sum has been mainly required for furnishing the house, after being built.
You will do what you can for us, once more, by the Seabury Society, will you not? Tell them of all their labors for early Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Indian Field, and now California. Tell them of our St. Augustine's with ninety-six boarders,--every bed occupied, and the Trustees now thinking of a plan for permanent buildings, which shall accommodate one hundred and seventy-five boys. The parish here is, in consequence of these Schools, a very important one. Young people representing the best families of the Coast, gathered together here, a'nd taking with them to their homes the Church's best teaching! And this to continue doing so for all time to come! Surely no Missionary work can be better than this.
Soon this Diocese will learn to help itself; but the lesson learned will have been taught by the Missionary efforts of ourselves and others coming here to do work for the Coast, when it would not help itself. It is now awakening, in many respects, to greater earnestness. Our Church Hospital, Church Home, and Church Union, in San Francisco, show this. So do Church Schools in different parts of the Diocese show it. And Missionary effort is taking the lead in many places. Several of our first stations have now churches built, and Missionaries presiding over them. Since my return to California, a clergyman, the Rev. Geo. R. Davis, has joined us at Suisum, twenty miles from Benicia, where he is building up the Church most successfully, and has two churches beneath his care, one of which we built two or three years ago, and the other we bought of the Methodists. I might go on and tell you of much more, about the Schools and in the Missionary field, of great encouragement to all hearts that have labored with us; but I will write again, 1 trust soon, and make amends for my long silence.
When you write, please tell me how you each are this winter. Give me a real family letter,--I shall enjoy it amazingly. Tell me of Church work in New Haven. Tell me of your School and it will help us in St. Mary's, now that we have a Girl's School. Let me know about Brother Henry and his children.
I must now close with love to you all. With our long dry season--only two showers since last April--you might think us all dried up; and yet, strange to say, streams dry all summer are beginning to run again. We are now beginning to make garden. Roses, &c., will be ready for Christmas.
1873. (March 12th.--To Miss Edwards.)
Your letter with the large and unexpected remittance has come to hand. You will believe me, when I tell you how rejoiced I was to receive it. It is true we built the last year this goodly building, and our way through it was made clear; but, after its completion, we had much to do to make it a fit habitation for young ladies. It must be furnished, and this could not be done short of an outlay of three thousand dollars; and the ground could not be left in a state of nature. This necessary sum has not been realized, and may not be, as soon as required.
But I must not complain, when I look back and realize the blessings which have followed me in my Missionary path of thirty-two years' travail on the border, and find all that I have laid my hands unto prospering. I have reason indeed to thank GOD and take courage for the future of my ministerial life. Tell the Junior Seaburys, as well as the Seniors, that this work on the broad Pacific Coast is the grandest yet wrought out by all our Missions. We are laying foundations for a nation to inhabit here, and the future of the Church's work depends, in vast degree, on the patient toil now expended.
Your offerings, in amount four hundred dollars, have helped us vastly to do all this for the rising generation. Think of our St. Mary's School having already thirty-seven boarders, beside fifteen day scholars. Many parents are looking forward to this School to be the nursery of their daughters. Now the main point is this:--in a few years these young ladies are to represent the society of this Coast, and then their present religious training will show forth in all its splendor. It is through this agency we are to find the grand results of your own labors and self-denial in annually sending us your Missionary offerings.
You began with us at our early beginning, under the kind influence of such men as Drs. Croswell and Pitkin, and you have followed us faithfully all along for these many years. I know how you all have been spent in strength, and not a few in their life-lease, and that we are scarcely known to the new and young members of the "Seabury Society;" but if you will take the trouble to tell them of Nashotah, which you helped to found in a wilderness, and will read to them "Coxe's Ballads," wherein he speaks of our Wisconsin Missions,--will tell them of Racine College, where we first planted the Church; and then of the glorious Church of Wisconsin; and then take them five hundred miles to St. Paul in the Northwest, and one hundred and fifty miles farther on to the Indian Missions;--and now back again to Faribault, where are the splendid Schools of the "Bishop Seabury Mission" for boys and the St. Mary's School for girls with seventy boarders, beside some thirty day-pupils; and then bring them to this Pacific Coast and tell them of St. Augustine's College with its one hundred Christian boys,--I feel assured they will rejoice in having helped us to plant this nursery of Christian education for girls.
We shall have our buildings filled with forty young ladies as boarders before the end of the present term, We ought then to move forward and build the next section--else we must refuse parents their children's education; and can we do this, without many self-accusations?
The next great work is a Divinity Hall for training up a native ministry, and for this we must look to our friends in the Atlantic States. I hope, therefore, so long as my work lasts, the "Seaburys," young as well as old, will stand by me, and that our record on high shall be one and the same.
(May 3d, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles, Wellsboro'.)
.....I have been intending to write you daily for a long season, but incessant pressure of work, with a large school, growing constantly, has occupied my thoughts and time, to such a degree as never before in all my Missionary experiences. Besides, I have had to do much writing for The Pacific Churchman, in the absence of the editor, from sickness. And again our little parish has its demands upon us.
You are now, along with ourselves, greatly afflicted with the dangerous illness of our devoted brother, John LI. Aspinwall. We have had but little intelligence of the facts in the case, but enough has been told us to excite our deepest apprehension of the result Poor darling Janey, what will become of her in the event of his death! GOD forbid, but nevertheless His Holy will with us all be done!
He was so prudent in his health and manner of living, and withal so cheerful in spirits, that we thought his life would long outlast our own; at least in my own case I felt so, and confidently committed to him my little earthly property for his wise disposition of it for my wife and children, after my own decease. How truly did he, and his, sympathize with you in your own great losses! and how little did our precious sister Janey suppose that, so soon, she would require it all back again! How rejoiced I am that you are so near to her. In all my Missionary life I have had but one great sorrow of this sort.
You will be glad to know that my son Muhlenberg is to-morrow to renew in Confirmation his Baptismal vows. He is one of the best of boys, ever found on the side of right, never in school demerited, and taking a high rank in his military discipline. Charlie is developing well too, and next year will follow his brother's example. Our Confirmation will be a very beautiful one. Seven cadets, six young ladies of St. Mary's School, and seven from the parish.
We are again living in our pleasant little cottage, joining the College property. But my office is still in the School, and my duties there occupy the most part of the time. The School promises now to be crowded with boarders the end of. July, when the new term opens. Indeed, I think we shall have to refuse many who intend to apply for admission. Thus far I have kept all the accounts, and have expended twenty-five thousand dollars upon each of these Church Schools.
(December 17, Benicia.--To his Brother Charles.)
..... It is strange that you have not had information of the broken leg of my consort. She would not remain in the carnage with me when she thought Muhlenberg was getting hurt from a falling horse. After four to five months' confinement to the house, she is now abroad again, and is in the midst of our forty young ladies, which constitute our family. We have a Japanese in charge of our cottage, who is a model of neatness and industry. At the School we have a Chinese cook, who is splendid. He does nearly all the providing, determines the fare for every day, gets his own help in the house, washmen, &c. We pay him $40 per month. Your remarks on the miserable Cummins, and on the heroic Drumm, are very excellent. I wrote to the latter, thanking him for his noble vindication of the Catholic Faith and its Priesthood.
About this time a letter of deep interest was written to Mrs. Douglas, giving the very details contained in previous letters to other friends. Mr. and Mrs. William B. Douglas, of Rochester, were his most generous and wise benefactors; and none mourn his death with a sincerer sorrow.
(April 14th, On Steamer.--To his Brother Charles) My precious Brother: I can scarcely credit it that three months have passed by since the receipt of your last letter. Since then I have been very busy and very much tried. You may readily imagine that the work of planting two Diocesan Schools within six years (beside doing much Missionary work in the field) could not be done without many trials and misgivings. The Missionary College of St. Augustine is cared for by a responsible Board of Trustees; so that, in this respect, I am only careful for it as one of the Trustees. St. Mary's School for Girls has been an admirable success, but some of my friends have not been so true to me as I had hoped to find them; especially one gentleman who is a very wealthy man, and personally pushed the building forward. He thought he would refund himself from collections made among his business friends, and I let him go forward; but he was able to raise only five thousand dollars, and the expenses, over and above this, were four thousand more. I have allowed the property to be held for this by an installment loan, and now, monthly, I am paying off principal and interest, and this will take sixty monthly payments to wipe all out.
But I have other obligations to meet. In August next, I have $500 to pay to the Rev. Mr. Schroeder, of New Milford, Connecticut, who loaned to me this sum for two years (without interest), and I must pay it. Other loans will become due later. The sum paid out here for St. Mary's in building, improvements and furniture, is little short of twenty-eight thousand dollars. If we can open next August with forty boarders, we shall see our way clearly. But schools have multiplied here, so that with our very distinct Church character, you readily perceive we cannot be so popular as non-sectarian schools may be, with people ignorant of, or indifferent or hostile to, the Church. I have been endeavoring to raise three thousand dollars among my past friends during the Winter; but, strange to say, no one has yet responded, save one gentleman in Troy, who says he regrets to refuse so earnest a worker as I am, but he has lost faith in the Episcopal Church, and no longer contributes to its support. Perhaps some will yet respond.
I have now made up my mind to enter Muhlenberg at Nashotah the coming Autumn. And I hope to obtain for him a scholarship, through the interest of President Cole and Dr. Adams. I concluded that the scene of my early labors would be blest to him. He has passed through a very severe ordeal here, and has come off nobly, a good soldier of the Cross. He is never at fault in his conduct, and enjoys the confidence of his teachers and the high respe.ct of his fellow pupils. In the military drill, where he stands high as an officer, he is regarded as the most reliable young man among one hundred students. For all this I feel very grateful to our Heavenly Father in bestowing upon him so much grace. Our other son, Charlie, is also doing nobly for a boy much younger and of an entirely different temperament. He is to be confirmed the second Sunday in May, and will then be enrolled a communicant before he enters the Naval School at Annapolis. When this may be, depends upon a vacancy, to which he may be nominated. He took last year the gold medal of his class for superiority in his studies. I send you their photographs, which are taken in their cadet suits, as they have none other clothing. The expense of an outfit for Charlie will be about five hundred dollars, after which he will be supported by the Government allowance.
(July 5th, San Jose.--To his Brother Charles.)
...... You are now, I trust, comfortably situated in your new Rectory. Do not attempt the church, unless some wish to make it largely a Memorial.
I am now, through the kindness of our sisters Anna and Janey, along with good brother William H. Aspinwall, spending most of the summer vacation away from Benicia. Chaplain Vaux of the U. S. Army, residing at the Benicia recruiting barracks, very kindly takes my place in the parish. My dear wife accompanies me for the most part. Sometimes my two boys join me in an excursion with our horse and carriage (a present from Mr. Geo. Blight) over the Coast Range, lunching by the way. To-day my wife and I are at San Jose, visiting Mrs. Cullen (daughter of Mrs. Olden), who has four children. Mr. Cullen is an English gentleman, of pleasing address, and with wealth enough to furnish a home with all the heart can wish. He owns twenty-five acres within the city limits of San Jos6, where he has a beautiful cottage residence. The church here has a Rector of great devotedness to his work. He has also lately had a nice Rectory built for him at a cost of three or four thousand dollars. At Benicia we have, during the past year, enlarged the parish church, and it is now one of the most attractive rural churches in the Diocese. We owe $425 on the enlargement, which we hope to liquidate in a year's time.
At our recent Convention, I declined nomination to the General Convention. My work here will not allow of desertion from it so soon again. We are asking for a Northern and a Southern Missionary Diocese; and, if obtained, it will make atonement for past neglect of this wonderful field. Who can estimate the mighty future of this Coast? Its products are truly amazing. This past week, while at Santa Cruz on the Pacific shore, we drove up above one thousand feet on to the Coast Range, eight miles out, and there visited a Churchman, who last year gathered two hundred tons of grapes from his own and his brother's vineyard, and sold the same at two cents a pound. Other products are found in like masses of abundance all over the State (seven hundred miles) along the Coast. I wish Churchmen could see the importance of planting the Church here in the infancy of the State. The Presbyterians, Methodists, &c., are spending Eastern funds here by the thousands, where we bestow hundreds. It is lamentable to observe our inertness in the cause of CHRIST and His Church. We have now an admirable body of clergy, who are doing what they can to mould the masses; but they are too few in number by fifty, at the present time. And where the Board of Missions expends on us $2,500, it ought to be $20,000, for educational and Missionary purposes.
(October 18th, Benicia.--To----------------.)
My very precious Friends: Your two very acceptable letters, within the one envelope of September 23d, were received with delight by both Mrs. Breck and myself. You have indeed linked" me to yourselves with bands never to be broken. I will not believe that death can break them. They are assuredly formed here for another and a better world. And this is made true, not by a common humanity, but by the Divine nature which St. Peter so forcibly discourses upon in his 2d Epistle, 1. 3, 4,--a discourse which, as a Missionary, then upon my lengthy foot tramps, I delighted in dwelling upon, when all around me for a score of miles was Nature's grand Cathedral, but without a human habitation in view. That wonderful Divine nature must continue to be our staff, whereby to enter the valley of the shadow of death, and by which we shall travel it, not alone, but in the strength of Him who robbed it of its sting......
I have written to you of my sons. Less than a month ago, the elder one, Muhlenberg, left us for Nashotah, where he is now studying for the Ministry. The associations there are to him and myself of the nearest and dearest character,--where I passed the first nine years of my Ministry in establishing it, without so much as once leaving the State, He appears to be very happy in his new relations there, and I trust he will have a flame of holy zeal lighted within him which will burn an even light for all that shall come within his influence. And now we have been suddenly called upon to part with our other son Charlie for a yet more distant home, and one which shall separate him from us for a lifetime, with perhaps a few brief intervals. Most unexpectedly, an appointment came to us from the President of the United States, ordering him to appear at once at the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, for examination for admittance as a Midshipman. A week ago, we accompanied him to Sacramento, where he took the cars for the overland route, and you may imagine how our hearts wept for this boy, not quite sixteen years of age, undertaking such a journey alone, without any one whom he had ever before seen, and inexperienced, entirely so, in traveling....... Thus one has been given to the Church, and the other to the country, and I trust they will be kept in the paths of duty thus marked out for them. They are both Communicants, and have never indulged in any of the vices so common to boys of our time.......
(January 27, Benicia.--To William B. Douglas, Esq.)
...... I am at a loss what to write you in respect to your letter of the 9th inst. It is not an easy matter in this case to say that you have my hearty thanks and my earnest prayers. I would rather, a great deal, have returned the loan to you, and thus have done what would have best satisfied my own conscience.
The work in hand here is prospering beyond what my friends predicted,--indeed not a few thought it a venture, that could only end in a failure! They have changed their minds now; but they can give no solution to it. We have opened our new School term with thirty-eight boarders and fifteen day-scholars. All these are not full pay. Some are orphans, others are daughters of army officers (whose pay is limited), and others have been commended to us by clergymen who desire daughters of the Church to have Church training. Of the above number of boarders, about twelve are of these classes whose pay is just sufficient to cover expenses. We hope "St. Mary of the Pacific" will ever work in this direction. I am aware that some may say "be honest first before being generous." We do not think we have been doing otherwise; for had we not taken these twelve, we should not have been the better in finances, but perhaps the worse off! We have given much, but not taken from others in order to do it. We could not, either, have filled up our School with paying pupils, for those in the infancy of the Institution were not to be had.
We have from the beginning kept the most accurate account of all our expenditures, and we have the satisfaction of knowing that in no year have we gone behind. On the contrary, we are now paying, from out of our receipts, the monthly instalment of principal and interest on the loan which I had to make, for the payment of the gentleman mentioned to you in my last. My greatest desire is to see St. Mary's School become the instrument for sustaining a School of the Prophets on this Coast. This has been my day-dream ever since it was founded. But of such a dream I can do nothing but speak, until we have cleared our skirts of every liability. I find that the numerous claims of Missionary Bishops and Church objects all over the land, must preclude all my appeals, such as I had hoped, in three years' time after the loans made me, would have been responded to, and thereby would have empowered me to refund the kind and noble assistance which enabled me to begin this work. I will enclose one such reply to my appeal. The lady is no doubt known to you. And it has been only to such that I have written. Some few sums have been received, of a very limited amount each; and these I am paying to a clergyman, the Rev. John Frederick Schroeder, of Connecticut, who loaned me five hundred dollars at the instance of his aunt, Miss C. E. Boardman. I shall hope to pay him all this by Easter.
You will be pleased to know that my beloved brother-in-law, the late Mr. Wm. H. Aspinwall, who was one of the original five persons making me the loan of three years ago, cancelled his claim on St. Mary's before he died. How much reason I have to revere his memory! He was among the first to enable me to make the original purchase of the Nashotah tract of 365 acres of land. And, like yourself, dear Brother, he has followed me up in every direction in which I have gone laying foundations for our dear LORD and His Church. He paid for the block of land here, on which St. Mary's is built, and he has helped me from time to time since. And now he has gone to his reward! A little above a year ago, before this, his brother John, also my brother-in-law, was taken to his rest in JESUS;--two noble Christian characters, and how greatly shall I miss them, in their loving devotion to me and in their devoted interest in my work. It may be that their mantle has fallen on others; but it is not always the case, that any eye of faith and love, like the Prophet of old, sees them as they ascend the skies. I have, beloved Brother, great reason to be encouraged in the blessed work which the Great Head of the Church has permitted me to do here, for the greater honor of His Holy Name. Great thanks to you, Sir, for your assistance in prayers and offerings for its durable foundation. Mrs. Breck was so overjoyed on the receipt of your letter, that she threw herself into my arms, and wept tears of joy. She begs me to unite her love and thanks with my own for your noble charity. It does seem to us, if we can only see St. Mary's the sole property of the Church, we could almost say, with devout Simeon: "LORD, now lettest Thou Thy servants depart in peace."
You shall, along with yours, be ever kept informed of our work. I feel that I represent you in our labors here. You are often uppermost in our thoughts when we are praying for our benefactors. How singularly you have been with me, and followed me all along my Missionary track! No wonder, dearest Brother, you and yours are precious in my heart.
It is delightful to hear so good news from your dear son. I hope when he returns to this country, that in case your climate shall prove too harsh for him, you will consent to his coming to this Coast. Only to think of what here gladdens our eyes all Winter through--the beauteous green hills and valleys (we have rain in the Winter, but it is not all rain. From the beginning of our Winter vacation to its close, four weeks, there was not a storm). I will send your precious wife some flowers from St. Mary's grounds, as we have them all Winter through, to show you both what a climate we have! My Parish Register informs me in Benicia, of only two funerals the past year, of only two the year before, and but one the year before that.
(June 13th, Santa Cruz.--To his Brother Charles)
My precious Brother: We are again on the Pacific shores for a change such as we enjoyed for a week the last year, and which did me such good service. My dear wife and her niece, Miss Stile, also two of our teachers and a friend, Mrs. Glover of Connecticut, are with me for a fortnight. We have had forty-two boarding young ladies, and sixteen day pupils, which have kept us anxious day and night. Besides, I have had the parish to care for, which is not large, numbering but sixty communicants, but the Army officers of the United States Arsenal, located here, as well as the officers of the Benicia Cavalry Barracks, with their Chaplain, and all the officers and cadets of St. Augustine's College, along with our own teachers and young ladies, worship in the parish church. This makes a goodly array of talent, for which a Rector must be prepared with suitable discourses. We have now, also, the Missionary Bishop, Wingfield, chosen Rector of the College, in place of the Rev. Mr. Tucker, resigned. So that Faribault, Minnesota, is repeated at Benicia, California. It is a fine testimony to the work, unto which I have committed my life.
You have seen in the paper lately sent you, the Reporter's account of our school, and the Anniversary and Graduating Exercises. They were pronounced, by enemies of the Church, to be the finest ever had on this Coast. Even St. Mary's, Burlington, has written to us for our curriculum of studies and other exercises. We have the prospect of a decided increase of boarders, and this will drive us into our cottage, to take six or eight pupils with us there, or to building more at St. Mary's. I think the former will prevail, provided our friend, Mrs. Glover, will take the oversight of the internal affairs of the school.
We hear the best accounts of Muhlenberg, and think he promises to become a noble worker in the Ministry. He is all our hearts can wish for--loving, faithful, and true. He will spend his Summer vacation with his Uncle and Aunt Whipple, Faribault. Tell me about your son, and what are his views in life. I have hoped he would enter the Ministry, and thus both of us would be duplicated in the work of the Church.
We have a good Churchman for a Bishop. Remember my dear wife along with myself in much affection to Sister Jeannie.
(February 23d, Benicia.--To Miss Edwards.)
I am acknowledging your most kind and deeply-interesting letter of the ist inst. from on board a high-pressure steamer, and hence, please attribute the chirography to this cause, and not to "advancing years."
The "Seabury Society" has indeed done nobly. I am so happy to tell you what I purpose doing with this contribution to our work. In the first place I must thank you for your great perseverance, through many years, in helping me in laying foundations for the Church of the Frontier. You did noble work at Nashotah, at St. Paul, in the Indian field, at Faribault, and now upon this vast Pacific Coast. You have followed me up through all these thirty-five years of my border Missionary life. And all this work is now living, and bespeaks your perseverance and faith in the Church's own ways for advancing the kingdom of CHRIST on earth.
The present interest of the Pacific Coast Associate Mission is the development of an institution for the education of the daughters of this land. It is a Mission for the future mothers of California, Nevada and Arizona. In no way, for city or country, can we better plant firm foundations than in this direction at the present time. We are aware of the load we must carry in doing it. But with the much encouragement given us by yourselves and others, we would be poor soldiers indeed not to brave manfully the contest. St. Mary's has indeed been wonderfully blessed, and is prospering to the astonishment of every one. The Rev. Dr. Stubbs, of New Brunswick, N. J., is now with us, and he considers it almost a miracle, to see not only our beautiful and well-furnished building, but the building entirely full of bright-faced girls, numbering forty-five boarders. Every bed is filled! We have not a vacancy for the next applicant. We cannot stand still. It would be doing violence to our own feelings to refuse admission to daughters, whose parents consent to our Churchly discipline. We propose to devote your offering of $270 towards a building, detached, except by corridors, from the present building;--the first floor to be for any that may be sick, and the upper floor for the accommodation of pupils. We find that such a building can be erected and furnished for twenty-five hundred dollars, and I am intending to make the effort, by correspondence, to raise this sum. Hereby we can accommodate fifty-five boarders, and with these, we can grow into the main central building for intermediate pupils. I hope to inform the ladies of the Seabury Society of the success of this plan for the coming Summer, and it shall be called the "Seabury House." I hope, before many days, to write you again. I am writing to the young Seaburys, and hope to mail it to you to-morrow.
But already the end was at hand, and so suddenly it came that the whole Church was startled by it. The most minute account of his last illness and death will be found in the following extracts from a letter written by the Rev. Alfred Stubbs, D.D., of New Jersey, to Henry Shaw, Esq., brother-in-law of the deceased, and dated at St. Mary's School, Benicia, on Tuesday in Easter week:
My Dear Sir: I have just received your letter asking me for "some particulars of the last illness of your brother-in-law, Dr. Breck," to whom in the Providence of GOD, I was called upon to minister at that sad time, and I will endeavor, as briefly as I can, to answer your inquiries.
Dr. Breck preached his last sermon on the Sunday before Lent, and the subject was the preparation which Christ made for His death.
It seemed almost prophetic of his own.
The conclusion was in these words: "Let us go with our LORD through these forty days, and if this Lent shall be our last upon earth, and we shall never again see another Good Friday, we shall certainly be the better assured that we shall see another Easter, a Great Easter in which all of human birth will be participants, and then may we find ourselves where we would now wish ourselves to be, on the LORD'S side, with Calvary's Cross bright on our foreheads,--His crown of thorns exchanged for a crown of triumph, and with the shout of victory in our mouths."
Many noticed how pale and weary he looked during the service, and many of his friends urged on him in vain the necessity of taking rest. He alone did not seem to feel its want, or delayed it for a more convenient season.
None could foresee how soon their apprehensions would be realized. On the Thursday after, March 2d, he fainted while saying Evening Prayer in the chapel of his school. The physician, who was instantly summoned, did not apprehend any special or immediate danger from this attack of illness; it was naturally enough attributed to temporary fatigue, from which he might soon recover after rest and refreshment. But his strength did not rally, as it was hoped.
He gradually became weaker and weaker, so that on the third Sunday in Lent he was so low as to be unable to partake of the Blessed Sacrament which Bishop Wingfield came to administer to him. The Bishop's blessing was all he could receive.
A consultation of physicians was called, and every effort which love and skill could suggest was put forth to restore his failing strength.
It seemed at first as if our efforts would be crowned with success. During the week ensuing, the symptoms were all encouraging; and at no time did we feel more sanguine than during the last day, and up to the last hour, when the soul of our beloved brother suddenly left the tabernacle of his body and entered into rest.
And if ever man needed rest from labor, surely that man was J. Lloyd Breck. He was literally worn out with work, and sunk exhausted into the grave; and if ever man will receive a reward for work well done in the service of his Master, surely the richest crown of glory will bedeck the brow of him who was in the truest sense "faithful unto death."
Dr. Breck's life was a life of entire, perfect devotion to the service of GOD and His Church; and so was his death.
He died as he had lived, in the quiet, strict performance of duty. Up to the last moment he thought nothing of himself, he spoke nothing of himself; nothing was in his mind but the love of his Master, and the work to be done for His Church. But a few days before his departure he asked me to write a letter to Bishop Williams, the last that was written in his name, for a plan of a chapel which he wished to erect for the children of his school, that they might "worship the LORD in beauty of holiness."
This chapel would have been found, I might almost say, inscribed on his heart. The prayers and praises of those children were his chief delight during his illness.
He had the doors, which separated his bedroom from the adjoining room where Morning and Evening Prayer was said, thrown open during the service, that he might join with them in their "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," making melody with them in his heart if he could not with his tongue.
On the Feast of the Annunciation he partook with them for the last time of the Holy Communion. He wished them all to be kneeling by his side; but as that request could not be granted, the celebration was held in the adjoining room or chapel, and the sacred elements were administered to him on his dying bed. The solemnity of that scene will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it, nor can his sweet expression of calm and peaceful joy, as he partook of that "food of immortality, grace, and life," ever be erased from my memory. I need not say that everything was done which loving hearts and hands could do, to minister to our friend's comfort during his illness. Not to speak of the devoted attention of his beloved wife, who watched with woman's tenderest love and care by his side, all were animated with one spirit to promote the patient sufferer's comfort.
Teachers and children vied with each other in their manifestations of filial affection for one whom they loved as a father. The little ones brought their bouquets of roses, morning and evening, so that the room seemed- more like a garden of flowers than a chamber of sickness, and it was redolent with the fragrance of love. The good man appreciated, as he deserved, these testimonies of affection.
Unselfishness was one of his most marked characteristics. He was ever seeking the happiness of others, rather than his own, and striving in every way to promote their welfare and enjoyment. A single incident will serve for an illustration. One" evening, when he was most dangerously ill, he called to mind that some of the children would be returning to school after a short excursion, and requested that the house might be brilliantly lighted up, to assure them of a joyful welcome. He would banish sorrow from their young hearts, even when that sorrow sprang from sympathy with him. And thus, during the whole period of his illness, not one expression of sadness was seen on his countenance, not one word of complaint or impatience escaped his lips. His face was as serene and cheerful as that of the dying martyr, which seemed to those who stood by like the face of an angel. In the same spirit of perfect resignation and equanimity did our departed friend prepare to meet, like a brave Christian soldier, his last encounter with the "King of Terrors." Death had no terrors for him. He had faced him too often during his eventful Missionary life to be afraid to meet Mm now. When on one occasion a savage Indian warrior stood with tomahawk raised over his head to strike the fatal blow, he calmly looked him in the eye till the tomahawk fell from his hand: so now he looked death quietly in the face without fear or trepidation.
"Be not alarmed," he said to his weeping wife, in one of his most agonizing spasms, which threatened immediate dissolution. He alone expressed no fear, and no anxiety for the future. This in childlike faith he left in the hands of his Heavenly Father.
He often asked his wife to read to him the Office for the Visitation of the Sick. That, and Jeremy Taylor's book of Holy Dying, with the Penitential Psalms of David, were his constant companions, and thus his closing days were spent in devout reading and holy meditation. No better illustration can be given of our brother's Christian frame of mind than the words of his last will and testament, written at this time as his strength enabled him to dictate to my son, who wrote by his side.
"In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
"Blessed be the Holy and undivided Trinity, now and forevermore. Amen. I, James Lloyd Breck, Priest and Missionary in the Church of God, in humble reliance upon the mercy and sole merits of the Divine Redeemer of the world, the LORD JESUS CHRIST, commend my immortal soul into the hands of Almighty GOD, the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY GHOST, that He may have mercy on me, a most miserable sinner, and bring me of His gracious goodness into the Paradise of the Blessed."
It was not long before the prayer of the dying saint was granted, and he was released from suffering and toil, and passed into the Paradise of the Blessed.
On the Sunday after his decease, "devout men carried him to his burial," followed by the teachers and pupils of St. Augustine's College and St. Mary's School. The mortal remains were placed under the chancel, near the altar of the parish church, for a temporary abode, until the chapel which he designed to build can be erected and consecrated for the use of the children of St. Mary's School. Under that chapel he desired in his will to be buried, for in faith he saw the building reared by the hands of Christian men and women after he was gone.
The church was filled with mourners, for every one present felt that he had lost a friend, so dear was he to all who knew him. Bishops Kip and Wingfield gave eloquent tributes of respect to the memory of their most venerable and honored presbyter.
The solemn funeral service was said by the Bishops and Clergy. The Holy Communion was celebrated and administered to a large number of devout communicants, and thus we parted with our beloved friend and brother in Holy Communion with his beatified spirit:--
He, to CHRIST'S embrace,
"We, to the lonesome world again,
Yet mindful of the unearthly strain
To be sung on, where angels soar,
With blended voices evermore."
Perhaps a more detailed account of the funeral services, chiefly from the columns of the Pacific Churchman, will not be unwelcome:
The funeral of the Rev. Dr. Breck was attended from St. Paul's Church, Benicia, on Sunday, April 2d; the Right Rev. Bishop Wingfield, of Northern California, conducting the service, the Right Rev. Bishop Kip, of California, assisting. The clergy attending were the Rev. Dr. Stubbs, of New Jersey, the Rev. Dr. Guion, U. S. A., the Rev. Messrs. Chapin, Cowan, Flack, and Monges, of California.
The church was draped in mourning, the bells in the town were tolled, the teachers and pupils of both the schools which he had founded were present, and a multitude of sorrowing friends from the neighborhood, from San Francisco and adjoining towns, were gathered to pay their last token of respect to the memory of the great Missionary. Every seat was occupied and many were obliged to remain standing during the entire services, lasting from 12 to 2:30 P. M. Many that could not obtain entrance into the building stood outside under the open windows, listening intently and respectfully, and losing but little of what was said or sung, on account of the pervading calm and quiet of the charming day.
Over the chancel window was a sentence of flowers: "Blessed spirit, rest in peace." The opening sentences were read by the Bishops alternately, and the Lesson by the Rev. Dr. Stubbs. "Brief life is here our portion" was sung, and then followed the ante-communion service, by the Rev! Messrs. Easton, Chapin, and Cowan.
The sermon was by Bishop Wingfield, Bishop Kip following with appropriate remarks, paying a personal tribute to the memory of the deceased, and alluding to his pioneer work in the cause of Christian education in the Western States, and its manifold results.
After the celebration of the Holy Communion, at which about one hundred received, Bishop Wingfield proceeded with the burial service, and the mortal remains were lowered to their resting-place under the chancel window of the church.
Clad in surplice and stole, the appearance of his face in death, as in life, was calm, peaceful, at rest--the same sweet smile that he habitually wore resting upon it. Upon the lid of the coffin lay two floral crosses, a star, and a beautiful white crown. The hands were crossed clasping a cluster of flowers.
The universal thought of the multitude that thronged the place seemed to be, "Not poor, but rich Dr. Breck."
In Memoriam REV. J. LLOYD BRECK, D. D.,
APRIL 2D, 1876.
GENTLY, gently close his eyes;
Lay the cross upon his breast:
Softly, softly fold his hands;
GOD'S brave soldier is at rest.
In the sunshine of the Spring,
In the time of prayer and fast,
Fell he at the Altar's foot,
Warrior unto the last.
Falling bravely at his post,
A true leader in the fight
Waged against the foes of GOD,
Passed from darkness into light:
He hath entered into rest,
Left us ere the Easter time;
We have plucked our snowy flowers
Ere we hear its happy chime.
In his priestly robes he lies,
As he at the Altar stood,
Telling of GOD'S gracious love
For our man- and woman-hood.
Slowly, sadly, with bowed head,
Bear him to the village fane,
There his solemn, earnest voice
Never shall be heard again.
To us now in loftier strain
Doth he speak as ne'er before;
By his holy death in CHRIST,
Bidding us to love Him more.
'Neath the chancel's sacred pave,
Lay him in the holy ground,
Countless flowers their incense breathe;
Let the solemn anthem sound:--
"Earth to earth, and dust to dust."
Weep not for the spirit gone!
Rest to him is passing sweet,
Now his holy work is done.
A. C. C.